Smoothing of Airline Highway set to begin in March 2012
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2011
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – After taking three years worth of beating from dump trucks full of dirt for levee projects in St. Charles Parish, Airline Highway from St. Rose to the St. John the Baptist Parish line is scheduled to receive a much needed facelift, according to a release from the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The state has awarded a $5.9 million contract to Barriere Construction Co. of Metairie for repairs to the four-lane highway. The resurfacing will improve the road between Almedia Road in St. Rose and the St. John Parish line.
Bambi Hall, spokeswoman for DOTD, said the new overlay of the highway will not start until March 2012. She said DOTD does not want to cause bottlenecks during the holiday shopping season and added repairs will last longer if the work is done during warmer weather months.
Hall said the project involves cold-planing asphalt pavement over about 9.7 miles of highway. Crews will also add concrete curbing in some areas. Estimated completion date for the project is November 2012. The project is expected to extend the life of the highway by avoiding more serious repairs in the future if the road were left to deteriorate.
Dozens of dump trucks have spent the better part of the last three years hauling dirt from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to various projects that have improved levees in the parish, said state Rep. Gary Smith of Norco, who helped secure funding for the resurfacing project.
Smith and other parish officials had lobbied for the state to include improvements to the St. Rose Avenue intersection as part of the Airline Highway resurfacing, but that element of the project is still under discussion with DOTD. The parish council has requested installation of a traffic signal at the intersection, but DOTD contests the intersection is not busy enough to warrant a traffic light.