Road improvements continue on MLK

Published 8:28 am Friday, November 6, 2015

Work is currently underway to make Martin Luther King Jr. Drive a smoother ride. MLK is known for its potholes throughout the street.

Milling of the thoroughfare’s surface began last Friday and continued this week. Problems with equipment have slowed the work.

The city of Bogalusa came up with the funds to repair Martin Luther King Jr. Drive after it had money left over from the recently completed Austin Street Project. The cost to the city for milling MLK is only $2,000, after an original cost estimate of $22,000.

“After the Austin Street overlay, we changed some of the striping up, which saved us a good bit of money,” Bogalusa Public Works Director James Hall said. “We cut out what we thought was unnecessary. The engineer for the project called and said there was a little money left over from the project.”

The Austin Street Project’s total cost was $247,000. The city received a grant of $98,000 for the project.

Hall said MLK was on a list of streets Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette wanted refurbished.

“When Mayor Perrette came into office, she gave us a couple of ideas of the streets she wanted done,” Hall said. “We’re getting a lot done with a little bit of money. It will make a smoother ride for the people who use Martin Luther King.”

Crews are removing 1-1/2 inches of asphalt from the roadway.

“What is underneath the asphalt is rough on the machines. It’s just something that happens when you’re milling the surface. We’re trying to get to a good, smooth riding surface of concrete,” Hall said.

MLK is 2,008 feet long.

Hall said other streets are being considered for repair.

“We’re getting some numbers together on West Fifth Street, from Avenue B to Avenue F; Plaza Street, from West Fifth to Avenue B; and Rio Grande Street, from Superior Avenue to Cassidy Park. We’re also looking at 600 feet of Shriner’s Drive to the Jefferson Street bridge.”

Hall said the cost of street repairs is directly tied to worldwide oil prices.

“We’re looking at these streets right now because of the oil prices dropping. When oil prices get low, asphalt prices drop,” Hall said. “At the first of the year, asphalt cost $97 per ton when we did Austin Street. We’re hoping it drops to $80 per ton for the work on West Fifth and Plaza.”