SULLPHUR, LA - Calcasieu Parish begins road construction on Pete Manena Road in Sulphur to fix public safety hazards on the road.
The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury is working with Gravity Drainage District No. 5 on a $900,000 project to improve drainage and safety along the parish road.
Calcasieu Parish Police Juror Les Farnum with District 15 said the guard rail of the road has washed away with erosion over the years and motorists have seen safety issues going around the curve.
"I would estimate there's only 18 to 24 inches to the road base now which is causing some erosion problems with the road," said Farnum.
The ditch next to the road has sunk even deeper to approximately 12 to 15 feet deep from the road over the years.
"This is a bad hazard for motorists if they were to somehow run off this road late at night," said Farnum.
The ditch is also contributing to drainage problems in the Maplewood community.
"Down through the ditch there's several obstructions with dirt and trees and trash and things falling off into the hole," said Farnum.
The two entities are in the process of installing a culvert system and putting in catch basins to improve the drainage in the area.
"It's going to be good for the community," said Farnum. "It will take away a bad hazard and save the parish a lot of money of having to rebuild this road one day."
The construction is expected to last at least another 6 weeks. Motorists are asked to take Highway 90 as an alternate route from Lake Charles to Sulphur.