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Subdivision fired up about pothole issue taking forever to address

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DENHAM SPRINGS - Potholes are popping up in subdivisions in Livingston Parish and the Department of Public Works says it's trying to get things patched up as fast as funding allows. But it's not fast enough for some residents.

Depending on who you talk to, residents in Livingston Trace subdivision say they've been dealing with potholes on their streets for years. The parish says all it can afford to do right now is patch the road with limestone and soft mix. It's a temporary solution to a big problem.

April Richardson moved into Livingston Trace in May and says she's already tired of all the dust created by the limestone fill.

"It's just a mess," said Richardson. "Every time we get a rain it just turns into a bunch of holes."

While there might be an end in sight, people like Erin Hathaway are concerned about why their tax dollars aren't going to repair the roads driven on every day.

"We pay so much in taxes out here, why isn't more of it going toward the infrastructure?" asked Erin Hathaway.

The roads in the subdivision were built about a decade ago and are already showing serious signs of wear and tear. Assistant DPW Director Huey Comeaux says the roads in Livingston Trace have had a base failure and the ground underneath the asphalt is causing a problem for what's on top.

"The trucks and period of time made it break," said Comeaux. "Then you have bad soil spots."

DPW says it has dug down about four or five feet in some places to fix the issue. It initially tried to fix the issue with a coal mix but found that the heavy trucks traveling through the neighborhood were breaking it up too much for it to stay in place. 

Through the overlay program, DPW has developed a patch program to help correct the issues seen in Livingston Trace. It has allocated about $250,000 to use for this neighborhood and a number of others that aren't on the priority road list. Other subdivisions part of the project includes South Haven and Pecan Creek. South Haven shared its pothole issue with 2 On Your Side in February.

"Hot mix is going to be the fix for this, we're not set up to handle hot mix," said Comeaux.

It's why the project was bid out and contracted. Work is expected to begin soon, and is set to wrap up by the end of September.

Comeaux says the parish has recently recognized this repetitive pothole problem in subdivisions built in the last decade. To help prevent more of the same issues in the future, it has changed the criteria for developers to lay a thicker base and thicker layer of asphalt.

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