BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A repaving project for part of Sherwood Forest Boulevard that had been delayed due to flooding will soon restart after the city said it received the special asphalt needed to repave the road.
On Tuesday Aug. 6, the City of Baton Rouge announced the asphalt has finally been loaded and started its two-week journey down the Arkansas River to get to Baton Rouge.
The project was supposed to be completed by mid-June, but was delayed after the asphalt needed to pave Sherwood Forest could not be shipped down the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers.
Business owners along the road have been frustrated at the lack of progress. Billy Scott, the general manager of The Londoner, says the construction has resulted in a lack of sales and has forced him to make cuts.
"I’ve cut 15 percent of my staff and its hours. People are making less money because now, we have less people coming in and it’s like that for business up and down this 2.8 mile stretch,” Scott said.
Scott says he was frustrated because he felt the city should have had a back up plan in place.
Fred Raiford, the director of Transportation and Drainage for Baton Rouge, says the department had to stick with its original plan or risk losing out on federal dollars that are funding a large portion of the project.
"If we went out and looked for another asphalt, certainly, we’re going to be required to pay 100 percent of that and that would be very costly to our budget standpoint and biggest thing is the type of material we’re wanting to use, and it’s a plus, is that the durability, the structural strength of that asphalt, we’re looking at 20 to 25 years of life,” Raiford said.
Raiford says once the materials are received in Baton Rouge, the project will restart. The paving work is expected to take a month and a half to complete.
The asphalting of the road will be done during the nighttime hours to reduce congestion as much as possible.