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Miscommunication blamed on costly DPW mistake

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BATON ROUGE - The Director of the Department of Public Works blames a miscommunication for a costly mistake that will fall on the backs of taxpayers.

Speed humps were installed recently on Inniswold Road off Bluebonnet Boulevard and Jefferson Highway. The humps were installed too high, and had to be dismantled after cars began bottoming out. Having to reinstall the humps will cost more than $10,000.

Tamra Patrick believes someone needs to be held accountable for the problem.

"It's upsetting that we are spending our money and not getting things done appropriately when they are supposed to," Patrick said.

DPW Director Bryan Harmon said the Superintendent on the project, Reggie Brumfield approved the work.

"It was just a simple mistake," Harmon said. "No one will be disciplined...a policy change is not necessary."

Harmon had this to say to taxpayers upset about the mistake.

"I think you have to look at the bigger picture," Harmon said. "Yes, it was unfortunate situation that cost us public works time and money, which is taxpayer money, however, the intent was a cost savings venture."

Harmon refers to prefabricated speed humps the department typically uses. However, when the department tried to build it themselves, there was a little bit of a learning curve. Still, people like Patrick think that should have been ironed out before the burden fell back on taxpayers.

"Somebody needs to be held accountable," Patrick said. "When you're working on a project like this, it is important for safety of everything and making sure things are done property. There has to be some type of order."

With two full work crews trying to fix the mistake, the speed humps should be finished in two weeks. How long the project takes will determine the price of DPW's error.


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