Westlake traffic causing headaches for residents - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Westlake traffic causing headaches for residents

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)
WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

In a town with a population of approximately 5,000 people, the City of Westlake is bursting at the seams as plant employees head into work.

"All this out here has changed our way of life," explained Mayor Bob Hardy. "The people of Westlake have been affected by this, you can tell this is not normal."

One Westlake resident, Ruthie Jones, said it can take her up to 30 minutes to drive half a mile down the street.

"I can hardly get out of my driveway without begging someone, please let me out."

Between 5 and 6 a.m., headlights from plant workers fill the dark roads.

For the next 12 hours, Houston River Road clears, but utter mayhem ensues when the workday is over.

For a city once teetering on bankruptcy, the extra traffic isn't helping.

"5,000 people fill up our town and we get no tax or revenue off of this," Mayor Hardy said.

But the city is using its resources to continue to keep the city safe.

"Our police officers are having to do a lot more than normal,” Mayor Hardy said. “It's five miles, they're covering five miles, five thousand cars in a day, it’s unbelievable."

Police Chief Chris Wilrye said, "We’ve had issues with drivers driving in turning lanes, trying to get off, driving through people's yards, speeding, making it unsafe for citizens here."

As industry in Westlake grows, so will traffic problems but plant managers are looking to help.

One plant tried to alleviate the problem by staggering time, some workers go in at 6:30 a.m. and some at 7 a.m.

It's helping move traffic but it's still not enough to get people where they need to go in a timely manner.

Copyright KPLC 2017. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: West Nile virus

    WATCH LIVE ON 7NEWS SUNRISE: West Nile virus

    Thursday, August 17 2017 6:38 AM EDT2017-08-17 10:38:05 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>

    Good Morning. John Bridges and Britney Glaser here with a look at what's coming up on 7News Sunrise.

    More >>
  • 10-year-old from Sulphur saved mom and brother's life

    10-year-old from Sulphur saved mom and brother's life

    Thursday, August 17 2017 6:36 AM EDT2017-08-17 10:36:54 GMT
    Jayden Fontenot (Source: KPLC)Jayden Fontenot (Source: KPLC)

    Jayden Fontenot, a 10-year-old from Sulphur became a hero last Friday when his mother, Ashly Moreau went into labor with his baby brother at just 34 weeks. 

    More >>

    Jayden Fontenot, a 10-year-old from Sulphur became a hero last Friday when his mother, Ashly Moreau went into labor with his baby brother at just 34 weeks. 

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Lower rain chances for today, leading to hot temperatures this afternoon!

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: Lower rain chances for today, leading to hot temperatures this afternoon!

    Thursday, August 17 2017 4:06 AM EDT2017-08-17 08:06:13 GMT
    Heat Advisory Issued from 9:00 am to 7:00 pmHeat Advisory Issued from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm

    We will start today with mostly clear skies. A few clouds will build up this afternoon with the possibility of a few very isolated showers. Rain chances are only up to 20% for the day. With the low coverage of rain and clouds, we will have hot temperatures reaching the mid 90s this afternoon. We are under a heat advisory from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. Overnight, we will have mostly clear skies with temperatures in the upper 70s. 

    More >>

    We will start today with mostly clear skies. A few clouds will build up this afternoon with the possibility of a few very isolated showers. Rain chances are only up to 20% for the day. With the low coverage of rain and clouds, we will have hot temperatures reaching the mid 90s this afternoon. We are under a heat advisory from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm. Overnight, we will have mostly clear skies with temperatures in the upper 70s. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly