Residents complain about noisy road

CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Some longtime residents in Central said they can no longer deal with the noise from sections along Joor Road, so they started passing around petitions to get the road fixed.

Staff with the Louisiana Transportation Research Center said the claims about excess noise are legitimate.

Bill Walsworth has lived in Central for 43 years. He retired 12 years ago and was hoping to enjoy the backyard oasis.

"It's usually very pretty," Walsworth said while walking through his backyard. "The birds fly around chirping."

He's tinkered around in his backyard for five years, until he got everything just right.

"I fixed that right there 'til I got it right," he said.

But for the past several years, Walsworth claims he hasn't gotten any peace or quiet in his backyard, nor his front yard because of all the noise on Joor Road.

"My wife and I can't sit back here in the mornings or evening and talk to each other. It's so loud," Walsworth explained.

In 2009, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development widened Joor Road from two lanes to four. According to Walsworth, it was around that time when they noticed the increase in the noise.

"I think they grooved it too deep and it won't fill up," Walsworth added.

He was referring to the visible texture in the concrete that's meant to reduce wet weather related accidents. Those who live around the area said the noise is even more noticeable when driving in the car.

"Even the grandkids know," said Bruce Prestridge. "He can't talk. Can't have a conversation because it's so loud."

He said they've asked questions, but have never gotten answers. He added that for years, everyone thought the sound would go away. Last month, when Joor was closed because of the ice storm, they were reminded about how peaceful it used to be.

"The quality of life has been affected out here and it's something that can be fixed and should be fixed. It was a mistake and that's my goal, to get people involved and have their voice," Prestridge explained.

Prestridge began passing around a petition Tuesday to hand off to lawmakers in Central to see if there is a solution.

"I love the road. It's just the noise. It's convenient and I know it moves a lot of traffic, but it shouldn't make that much noise," Walsworth added.

The Louisiana Transportation Research Center said it is aware of the complaints and has sent someone out to look at the road. Officials said Joor Road is noisier in some places. They plan to come up with a recommendation for DOTD, so something can be done about the noise problem.

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