$3.4 Million to Improve Greenwell Springs Road

$3.4 Million to Improve Greenwell Springs Road

For years, the narrow, two-lane stretch of Greenwell Springs Road inside the City of Central has been the scene of countless traffic accidents and many fatalities.

The road, which has been used since the 1850’s, has never been upgraded to reflect the high traffic counts of the 21st century.  There are no shoulders, steep dropoffs on both sides of the road, and dangerous trees and culverts.  As a result, if an oncoming vehicle strays into traffic, there is no escape.  Vehicles in the path either endure a head-on collision or careen off the road, often rolling into the ditch and hitting a tree or culvert.

Some Central residents, led by Gail Lloyd and school board member Roxanne Atkinson, have protested the road’s conditions.

Now the Louisiana Dept. of Transportation and Development is beginning to address the problem.  Starting this week, DOTD has begun work on a safety project along Greenwell Springs Road (LA37) between Central Thruway and Liberty Road. This $3.4 million DOTD project involves trimming and removing trees within the DOTD right-of-way to improve safety and sight distances. During weekdays, the contractor will be allowed to close one lane at a time with flaggers directing traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. On weekends, the contractor will be allowed complete road closures of up to 15 minutes at a time.

DOTD asks that residents be considerate of highway workers as this safety project takes place over the next six months. A release said, “This is part of DOTD’s commitment to improving safety along this stretch of LA37. Last year, centerline rumble strips were installed and as well as improved reflective striping.”

David Barrow, executive assistant to Mayor Jr. Shelton, said,  “DOTD is well aware of the traffic on Greenwell Springs Rd. That’s why they have limited the hours of work and limited when they can close lanes or the roadway. The contractor will have tree-trimming trucks that can easily be moved along the roadway as they go. A lot of the work can be done off the road on servitudes where available. DOTD has made extra efforts to minimize delays on this project and provide good planning.”

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