Citizens still concerned about Roosevelt

Published 9:16 am Friday, August 26, 2016

After years of complaints about the condition of North Roosevelt Street, the parish government repaired the 1400 block in June.

Even so, the complaints have not subsided.

Prior to the repairs, the street had fallen into disrepair and holes pockmarked the street. Though the street is a residential street, it services a popular church, the Sweet Beulah Missionary Baptist Church, and parishioners had been complaining for some time about the city’s neglect of the street.

The parish announced it would repair the street in 2015, but since then, residents had complained that the city should do the work instead. Nevertheless, in late June, at the time of the repairs, Bogalusa City Council member Gloria Kates said she was “delighted to report” that someone — even if it was the parish government — was doing the work.

However, since then, parishioners and residents of the area have continued to protest the condition of the street to city leaders. Last week at the city council meeting, Derana Batiste-Newton complained, “When (the parish workers) were done I immediately called my councilwoman, Councilwoman Kates, and I told her, it is a dirt road … it looks like a Mississippi road where my grandmother lived back in the day. … That road is terrible and I would suggest that each council member go and look at that road and see if that is a road you would want in your neighborhood.”

To be clear, the road is not a dirt road, but it is also not an overlaid asphalt road, either.

Instead, the parish government did what is known as a three-shot process, which parish transportation manager Donnell Merritt said might not be as “pretty” as a blacktopped, asphalt road, but will last longer.

“It outlasts an overlay job because it’s more flexible,” Merritt said. “It’s just not as pretty on top.”

The three-shot process includes a layer of rock, then tar, then rock and tar and finally pea gravel. Merritt said all parish roads are three-shot roads and the parish government paves roads this way because it is cheaper at the outset and over the life of the road.

“They generally go somewhere around 20 or 25 years,” he said.

It is an older method of paving, but he said it’s popular for a reason.

Merritt explained that the Roosevelt job cost about $11,000 to $12,000 while an overlay job would cost closer to $30,000, more than twice the cost, for a road that wouldn’t last as long.

Merritt added that the road still needs to settle, and that process will take six to eight months after it was laid, meaning it should be settled by February. After that, Merritt said the city could seal it, and that could also help extend the lifespan of the road and it might improve the appearance as well.

“They could do that if they wanted to,” he said. “They’d need to let it lay six or eight months and then they could put a filler coat on it, but that will cost them a good little bit.”