Drivers disgusted with Government St construction

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge City-Parish has been making repairs to Government Street for six months. The work spans St. Joseph Street to East Boulevard. The construction zone has made it a rough ride for drivers.

Yellow Cab driver, Clara Louding rides the roads all day. It is her job. She says, lately, her trips up and down Government Street have been costing her a lot of money.

"Oh, God! It's terrible! It's tearing up my cab. You always need shocks, tires, number of things. And let's not even talk about the gas, trying to get through traffic," Louding said.

Louding says her cab makes a loud noise every time hits a rough patch on the rocky road. It is clear some kind of repair work is being done. But drivers say they are not seeing any progress.

"I was trying to figure out what was going on, on Government Street. Every time you see one minute it's fixed, next minute they're tearing it up," Alcyne Washington said.

"I say they need to get their business straight," Jerron Scott said.

Bryan Harmon, Deputy Director with the Department of Public Works says the overhaul is a small portion of an estimated $20 million project to repair sewer lines on Government Street, streets near the state capitol and on River Road. Harmon explains the constant patch and repair jobs drivers are noticing is necessary so that drivers can use the street during the day.

"Each night when we finished work, we put a temporary asphalt cap on the excavation," Harmon said.

Harmon says a change made by the State Department of Transportation and Development raised the price tag on the project by $460,000. But he says it was a preference in materials, and that the decision was made before the asphalt was poured to save money in the long run.

"The real difference was there was a cost between sand and stone, just that the sand was not supporting the weight of the heavy traffic," Harmon said.

The city-parish is hoping that decision will also mean less construction in the future. "I'm so glad they're doing it because it's awful," Washington said.

Workers started laying asphalt on the road on Thursday night. Harmon says the Government Street portion of the project will be done in two weeks.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.