Mt. Airy couple needs road to connect with community
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005
By MOLLY DRYMAN
MT. AIRY — A couple living in a Mt. Airy home wants St. John Parish to build a road by their house, because they feel isolated after years of having to cross railroad tracks to get to their parked car a half a mile away from their home.
Leroy Knight and Cheroyen Lewis felt they have been boxed in.
“None of you would want to live like this,” Lewis said. “I have to park a half a mile away from my home, and cross the railroad to get to my house, walking in all kinds of weather, carrying groceries and everything. I have to put on a pair of shoes to leave my house and change when I get to my car. Our car has been vandalized I don’t even know how many times, and I am tired of going to sleep and not knowing what will happen to my car, or if I will even have a car when I wake up.”
The St. John the Baptist Parish Council decided at Tuesday night’s meeting to have Parish Engineer C.J. Savoie, along with Councilman Allen St. Pierre, to take a look to see what can be done.
“It is impossible to imagine how many hours we have put into this,” said Councilman Allen St. Pierre. “Many years ago there was a road that crossed on the west-side of the Angelina Canal in Mt. Airy. The house is located north of the railroad tracks on the east-side of the Angelina Canal.”
St. Pierre said the road that used to exist there was built along a 50-foot right-of-way, which connected Hwy 44 to Hwy 61 and was called the “Road to the Farmer’s Market.” The railroad company removed the timber, and now there is no more crossing.
“In order to fix this, a big bridge would have to be built across the canal,” he said. “And as far as I can remember this has never happened. The only other option is to go from Daffodil Street and on
the west-side of the canal, but that would cross over five different properties.”
Parish President Nickie Monica said this could be an expensive project.
“This could cost $120,000,” he said. “If we are going to put a road in, we’re going to do it right.”
St. Pierre also mentioned that there are five sets of culverts that run from the south side to the north side, and this project could potentially block drainage.
St. Pierre also said Savoie will have to find out whether or not the property there is railroad property. If so, they parish will have to get permission from the railroad company, before they could do anything, which could lead this to be a long process.