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No more delays; busy country road getting a makeover

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GONZALES- It may seem like a the quiet countryside, but people living on Cannon Road say it's quite the popular route.

"Anywhere from six to eight in the mornings, it's a lot of traffic that comes through here," resident Ray Akines said.

Cannon Road is a short cut to get from Hwy 44 to Roddy Road. Akines says in the years he has lived there, he has noticed the lack of width causes many wrecks. 

"A truck was coming in the opposite direction, and his mirror actually collided with my mirror," Akines said, "And it happens all the time. I mean, you can observe people pulling off and stopping when another car is coming from the other direction."

It's all about to change. Last week, construction crews started tearing up the asphalt to start widening the road. This week they are rebuilding the base. Cannon Road will be widened from 18 feet to 20 feet. 

"Either the money, or it wasn't as high of priority as maybe some of our major roadways. But it is a road that has had safety issues for years," Transportation Director for Ascension Parish, Joey Tureau, said.

Why the sudden change? Tureau says it's because a new subdivision that is in the works. The current width does not meet code requirements. 

"The Parish is taking the impact fee money they would normally receive from the new owners in that subdivision, and they are waiving that requirement of the developers or the individual houses. In turn, the developer is paying for the road construction," Tureau said.

A two-foot difference may not sound like much, but Tureau says it will help with the safety of the road a lot.

"A lot of people run that stop sign actually. It's a bad problem, because a lot of people then go into that ditch," Akines said pointing to the intersection on O'Neal Road.

Cannon Road remains open while crews work. They will continue to build the base one section at a time. Asphalt is expected to be laid on the entire stretch of road in two weeks. 

Officials say work was delayed by a few days for many reasons including concrete shortage, COVID, and of course, rain. 

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