Weather pushing back highway 42 completion date
PRAIRIEVILLE - There's a bit of a weather delay for a project that's been in the works for years.
The Hwy 42 construction project in Prairieville has been ongoing since 2017, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development reports that a change order went through providing an additional 105 calendar days to the contract. Weather is the main reason for the additional days as per the project contract.
Belinda Cook lives on Billy Boulevard and has been watching the project unfold.
"Yes, there is a lot to do. You can still see when you drive down the road it's still graded... They still have the overlay they have to do," she said.
Cook is happy to see that part of the project closest to her neighborhood is nearly finished. She reached out to 2 On Your Side in October 2020 regarding a nonexistent left turn into her neighborhood. A concrete median prevented drivers from making a left turn onto Billy Boulevard from Highway 42. Cook says the alternative wasn't safe.
"You had to go down and make an illegal u-turn, which was very dangerous," Cook said.
Soon after the story aired, DOTD said that the median would be cut and the neighborhood would be getting a turn lane after all. In January the project was underway.
"We didn't think it was going to happen but it's really nice to turn," Cook said. "We're extremely excited that we're able to safely access our road."
Rainy days like Tuesday aren't helping to move the Highway 42 project along, but the state says when it's finished the once over-capacity roadway will be much safer.
At the end of the job, DOTD says the contractor will be working on items that will minimally impact motorists. Striping, seeding, concrete sidewalks, and signs will be added and will disturb traffic less.
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