DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - There are three roads in Denham Springs that will need to be smoothed out in the next several years. Bass Pro Boulevard and Julia Street are projects Mayor Jimmy Durbin is planning to put on the books for the next mayor of the city. He says with all the traffic, those roads will eventually show signs of stress.
One road can wait no longer though.
"It's a nice road," said Chris Avant, standing alongside River Road. Avant says the views driving down the road are simply beautiful, but the road itself isn't showcasing well. "Those one, two, three little potholes may get more from excess traffic."
Avant has lived in the area for the past 30 years. He says people in the area consider River Road a neighborhood street, but the last few years it has become a detour for drivers when Range Avenue backs up.
"In mornings, people travel down River Road to take Florida into Baton Rouge," Avant said.
It's what Mayor Durbin now refers to as a semi-major road, because of all the extra traffic. Traffic that a road built in the 90's wasn't built to handle.
"It's very, very narrow. The edges are breaking off," Durbin said.
Three years ago, Durbin says, a study counted 8,000 cars using the road every day. That number continues to go up. While growth is usually a good thing, in this case, it's meant deteriorating roads that can only be patched so much.
"I expect R.J. Daigle to soon be moving equipment into this area probably sometime the first week of April," Durbin said. R.J. Daigle came in with the lowest bid for the job.
Plans call for River Road, between Government and Centerville, to be widened and repaved. Durbin says the Department of Transportation and Development, or DOTD, will pay 80 percent of the cost. The city will be responsible for about $160,000, or the remaining 20 percent.
The project is expected to take 60 days.
While some say that will be a welcome improvement, Avant says there's also another section the city needs to add to its to do list.
"It's the other end, the north side that's really broken up," he said.
Durbin says the north end of River Road should be redone in 2017-2018. That part of the project will fall under the next mayor.