Airline road work now stretching until November

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 4, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is in the process of doing new road construction on Airline Highway and River Road, possibly causing long delays, but implementing safer roadways and easier travel.

Construction on Airline Highway is currently underway, stretching approximately eight miles from East St. John High School to St. James Parish.

“The main reason for construction is for drainage improvement,” said Stephen Perilloux, district construction engineer. “We will also do some miscellaneous shoulder widening and make an inside shoulder where there is a grass median in Garyville, but the paving cannot be done until after the drainage is fixed.”

The construction started in September last year, but came to a four month halt. The DOTD realized they could not do construction on the roads during sugar cane hauling season, which runs from the beginning of October to the end of January, according to Perilloux.

Perilloux said the construction should be completed in November and asked cooperation from travelers during the construction by obeying the speed limits and taking an alternate route if possible.

Another construction delay will begin on River Road. The construction runs 5.41 miles on U.S. 61 from the St. John/St. Charles Parish line to St. Rose. Bids were opened for this project on March 30, along with the bids for road construction in St Rose and Norco.

According to the DOTD project control office, the lowest bids announced were Fleming Construction of Kenner, for road construction on U.S. 61 in St. Rose at the amount of $466,132.50 and Barriere Construction of Boute, for the River Road construction at the amount of $1,805,890.82. The official bids will be posted on the DOTD web-site in a couple of days after both bidders are researched and corrections are made.

“This project is primarily for resurfacing River Road, because of drainage problems and asphalt,” said Osmond Hansen, project engineer. “This will also include drainage improvements, grading and cold planing, which is when no heat is involved to remove existing asphalt on the road. The estimated value for this project is $1,910,000 and construction should begin a couple of months after a bid is accepted.”