Fixing Our Rural Roads: Federal Funds to Address “Curvy,” Accident-Prone Roads in Lafayette Parish (Photos)
Many times, when we think about roads that need to be fixed, we tend to think about the major roadways - Ambassador Caffery, Johnston Street, Kaliste Saloom Road, etc.
But what about our rural roads? Recently, a report issued by research outfit TRIP gave Louisiana a very bad rating when it comes to our rural roads - 15th highest in the country. 15% of the state's rural roads were rated as poor, as pointed out by nola.com.
Many times, when we think of road construction, we think about potholes that need to be fixed or roads that need to be resurfaced.
But, what about roads that contain dangerous curves? Curves that make the area more susceptible to crashes, especially when it rains.
In July of last year, five "curvy" roads were identified in Lafayette Parish that meet that criteria. According to a press release from Jamie Angelle, Chief Communications Officer for Mayor-President Josh Guillory, money from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and managed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation were going to address these roads with skid-resistant surface treatments.
Fast forward to now as the project is finally officially scheduled to get underway beginning October 30, 2022. Louisiana DOTD says it's a $316,490.50 project that will install signage and pavement markings within the curves on some of the roads, and High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) on some of the roads as well. HFST is used to provide pavement friction to increase overall road traction on wet or dry surfaces and dramatically reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities. The Acadiana Planning Commission/MPO and Lafayette Consolidated Government Traffic, Roads, and Bridges staffs collaborated to secure the money to address these roads.
And, there are now nine total roads on the list to be addressed.
How Effective is the Treatment and What is the Timeline for the Project?
According to an FHWA report, it's estimated to reduce wet crashes by 83 percent and total crashes by 57 percent.
This much needed road work is expected to begin October 30th and work will be done Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., weather permitting. There will be intermittent lane closures happening in the work areas and drivers should expect some delays. The project is estimated to be completed in January 2023.
LOOK BELOW to see pictures of the "curvy" roads being addressed by the federal funds: