Road upgrade project remains in limbo; alternate suggested
Widening and hard-surfacing a parish road that floods with nearly every heavy rainfall would be a waste of taxpayer money.
That’s the message Bill and Lee Nevitt tried to get across to members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury Tuesday night.
But members of the jury contend that upgrading Morrow Road/Indigo Lane would not only provide a shortcut between La. Highway 13 and La. Highway 1112 (Bayou Plaquemine Highway), but would enhance safety for residents in that area.
The project has been in limbo for years, A.J. “Fatty” Broussard said at an earlier meeting. He said that four of the five property owners along the proposed project site have granted rights of way.
The Nevitts have not and have filed suit against the parish to stop the project.
Armed with a packet of pictures showing the area during a flood event, Lee Nevitt said she and her husband are not opposed to the parish spending money on road maintenance and upgrades “but we are opposed to spending money in the wrong place.”
She said the fact that the area floods regularly makes the safety issue moot.
“In an emergency situation, when you most need the road, it and the bridge are under water, not useable or dependable,” she said. “No amount of widening will help that.”
She also pointed out that the narrow bridge across Bayou Plaquemine, which the jury spent “more than a half million dollars on,” will create a bottleneck if the road leading to it is widened.
Morrow Road is north of Crowley and turns east off of La. Highway 13. After Attwood Drive, the roadway turns to the right, at which point it becomes Indigo Lane.
That roadway winds south and east before turning back north to intersect with Holland Road, which subsequently intersects Bayou Plaquemine Highway.
The Nevitts suggest building an alternate route that would connect Morrow Road from the point at which it turns into Indigo Lane straight across to the end of Holland Road.
“In the long run, it would cost the parish less to build this new road that to maintain the old one,” Lee Nevitt said.
Prior to the Nevitts’ presentation, the couple was informed by Police Jury President David Savoy that no comment would be forthcoming from the jury since the parish is involved in litigation concerning the road.
Jurors sat in silence throughout the presentation then adjourned into executive (closed) session for about 15 minutes.
When they returned, no comment was offered and they simply moved on to the next agenda item.