Residents still unhappy with condition of Highway 14 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents still unhappy with condition of Highway 14

LAKE ARTHUR, LA (KPLC) -

When is a road really repaired?

State officials say work on an eight mile stretch of Highway 14 near Lake Arthur is done, but at least one local resident says the patchwork road proves otherwise.

The road now has more than one hundred patches on the newly paved surface.

"I travel this road quite a bit," said Lake Arthur resident Cletis Dugas. "Many other people from this area travel this road quite a bit. All of us are taxpayers."

He's referring to the eight mile strip of roadway just refinished. It's already been patched up.

"In my opinion, poor workmanship, poor quality of materials used, whatever the case may be," said Dugas. "But there should be no reason for 121 patches on a brand new road."

Dugas's problem now is that more work was supposed to be done. The company responsible for the project planned to come back in and diamond grind the surface, basically smoothing the patches out to match the existing surface.

Dugas said that work never happened. But the Department of Transportation and Development said it did and that the company paid for it. Steve Jiles with DOTD says what's left is just a visual problem.

"Our specifications are not so much based visually oriented," said Jiles. "They're more towards the integrity of the paving. The quality of that road is as good as any road we've done. It's just not all that aesthetically pleasing."

Jiles says the company in question, Glenn Lege Construction, fulfilled their contract.

"The bottom line from our point of view is did the contractor meet the specifications that were written in his contract, and we deemed that this contractor did," said Jiles.

He says DOTD made sure all provisions were met.

"If we could have identified one provision in that contract that was not met, we would've certainly made him follow it," said Jiles.

The road is under a one year warranty and will be watched closely for any problems, but Dugas is still unhappy.

"What I'd like to see done is the company come back and at least lay another layer over what they have now to ensure that the patches do not come up in the future," said Dugas. "What I'd like to see happen is it be at the company's expense, not at the taxpayer's expense again."

Dugas says if nothing more is done, he won't be happy. He says he plans to call his Senators, Congressmen and even the Governor for his voice to be heard.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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