Motorists question Government Street construction in downtown Ba - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Motorists question Government Street construction in downtown Baton Rouge

(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)

One of the busiest streets in Baton Rouge is under construction, again. Repair work was done on Government Street less than five years ago, which has some wondering why construction crews are back. 

The blacktop was scraped and the warnings were posted. For motorists, it's not the first bump in the road. The city-parish ripped up the highway for six months back in 2012. Not even four years later, drivers are in for a rough ride again. 

"They need to get it together. It's time for them to figure out what they are going to do with the roads," one driver said. 

Drivers are not the only ones frustrated. Martin Streets, who uses a walking cane to get around, said he faces several hurdles on his commute downtown. 

"Often times at [the intersection of East Boulevard and Government Street], I've got to wait because of traffic because of recent construction going on here. It made it quite difficult actually to get through this intersection," Streets said. 

This time around it is a state project that is stopping traffic. Rodney Mallet with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said it is part of a $1.7 million Road Transfer Program, which allows the state to come in and repair city streets, then return it to local government once the work is done. 

The project includes repaving Government Street from the 1-110 to St. Phillip Street and Nicholson Drive from downtown to South Boulevard. It also includes repaving a portion of Old Jefferson Highway. Some people question why the work was not done in conjunction with the city sewer repairs four years ago. 

"If they are going to tear it up, then they should come right behind it and pave it and fix it immediately so it doesn't cause more problems for traffic," Streets said. 

Mallet said the Transfer Project funds only recently became available and that the repairs that were previously made to Government Street were merely patchwork to address critical sewer repairs. 

"When somebody calls from St. Phillip and says, 'Hey, your manhole covers are messing up. They are too high. You've got to fix them.' They are not going to come and say, 'When they are going to fix this road?' 'We plan to fix that in two years.' 'Well, ok we'll wait two years before we fix our sewer program,'" Mallet explained. 

Mallet said the Government Street phase of the project is set to be finished in 10 days. 

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