Carrollwood Drive closed for repairs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — For the next six to seven weeks construction crews will completely shut down Carrollwood Drive so that work can be done to completely resurface the major thoroughfare that services LaPlace motorists.

St. John Parish officials announced last week that the road would be closed in both directions from Airline Highway to Dominican Drive in an effort to move the project forward quicker and more efficiently. The project, which kicked off at 12 p.m. Monday, originally called for work to be done one lane at a time.

“Shutting both directions of the road down is expected to shave about four weeks off the project time,” said St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe. “We anticipate that it will reopen before the busy holiday shopping season begins.”

At a special meeting last month, the St. John Council awarded a construction contract for the project to Thigpen Construction. The St. Rose firm submitted a low bid of $567,000 for the repairs.

Boe said Thigpen’s bid, which came in well below previous estimates for the project, includes a complete resurfacing of Carollwood Drive from Dominican Drive to Airline Highway. He said crews would lay 12 inches of rock under an 8-inch thick layer of concrete, which will hold up better to the heavy truck traffic that frequents that part of the street.

“To show comparison, the last time Carrollwood was resurfaced, only two inches of concrete were put down,” said Boe. “This will be a much more sturdy road that can handle the immense traffic levels.”

In addition to the concrete overlay, Boe said the project would also include replacement of a few hundred feet of sewer lines that, according to a report submitted to the council in December, showed some level of damage.

The report blamed most of Carrollwood’s disrepair on heavy delivery trucks coming to and from the LaPlace Wal Mart. In an effort to take responsibility for the damage, representatives from the discount retail store agreed to commit roughly $15,000 to go toward the project.

Alternate routes to avoid the construction area include Madewood Drive to Belle Terre Boulevard or Dominican Drive to Ormond Boulevard to Airline Highway. Boe said that detour signs will be posted throughout the area to alert drivers. He said Parish President Bill Hubbard had numerous sit downs with the St. John Sheriff’s Office, to coordinate traffic flow issues, and school board, to determine the affect the closure will have on school bus drivers, who use the street during the morning commute.

“The next several weeks will come with some inconveniences,” Hubbard said. “But the end result of the project will be something all can be proud of.”