Some question construction on Eden Church Road

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Safety improvements on Eden Church Road in Denham Springs are just about done, but some who live along the road say not all of the problems have gone away.

In 2010, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development awarded a $1.5 million grant to fix the dangerous curve on Eden Church Road. Another million in federal funds was added for turn lanes and to re-pave the road. But it is the extra work that's being done that residents say just doesn't make sense.

Mary Crum says she was excited when she first heard about plans to make her road safer to travel. "The road was in such bad condition," says Crum. "My daughter even got in a wreck two years ago; right in the S-curve."

Earlier this year, when signs went up that Eden Church Road was under construction, it was good news. In fact, Leslie Denino says once she heard from residents in the area about the scope of work to be done, she decided to buy a home in a neighborhood near the road.

"We're going to have nice sidewalks, have curbs and gutters, widening the road....really nice street," she said she was told.

But now that the project is scheduled to wrap up later this month, some neighbors are wondering where the money went.

"Just certain spots that look nice. And the rest of it doesn't, why?" Crum asked.

While the dangerous S-curve has been fixed, they say only sections of the road got curbs and gutters. And then there is the matter of sidewalks. Crum says she was told both sides of the road were going to get them.

"They're staggered on different sides of the street, which makes it more safe way to get to the park," said Denino.

North Park, a park and recreation area in Denham Springs, is just across the street from Denino's subdivision. She says she was told by the project engineer she would be able to use sidewalks to walk to the park. But she says the sidewalk that was constructed across from her neighborhood leads to a locked gate.

Up the road, they say sidewalks are being built, on one side of the road and next to open ditches.

"I don't see how what they're doing has really helped. Just made it real nice in the S-curve, but for the rest of us it's not," said Crum.

Cindy Wale is the councilwoman for that part of Livingston Parish. She says the majority of the $2 million for this project went to fixing to S-curve and reconstructing the road. The sidewalks, she says, were kind of like an added bonus. Another layer of asphalt will be put on the road and the sidewalks completed before the project is finished.

Work should be done by Thanksgiving.

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