Headache on the highway drivers say construction needs to start now

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POSTED: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:04pm

Drivers in Ascension Parish are fed up with gridlock along Highway 42.

People living in the area say they were promised the Department of Transportation and Development would fix the headache, but they've seen no progress.

The DOTD announced plans to widen Highway 42 back in 2010. The plan would add more lanes along hwy 42 from Airline Highway to Highway 44.

Paulette lemon lives off of Hwy. 42. She says everyday the highway is a parking lot as commuters travel to and from work.

Lemon said, "You want to get home after you've been working all day long. It's just not good."

Lemon says she can't wait until the DOTD starts construction on the roadway.

"Every time I see somebody out here doing something. I see a piece of equipment. I think oh yeah this is the day they are going to start, today, but no," said Lemon. "All it is is just talk. It's never going to happen."

Eddy Noland also lives off Highway 42, but he says the state's plan won't work.

"You are going to have more volume of traffic trying to come down 42," said Noland. "Well when it passes 44 it's going to all bottleneck up again. "

Noland says he would rather see more lanes added all the way down 42. He says he is worried that people living in the construction zone will be stuck in even worse traffic once construction begins.

"They are going to have equipment," said Noland. "It's going to go down to one lane, so it's going to double the traffic here until they get through. How long is it going to take them."

Both Lemon and Noland agree something needs to be done to fix the headache that is Highway 42.

"People are in a hurry," said Noland. "They know they are going to get stuck in traffic. They are trying to get through it as quick as they can."

The DOTD released the following statement:

"Potential plans for a La. 42 widening and improvement project were first presented to the public in 2010. DOTD is currently in the process of acquiring the necessary right-of-way to construct the project. Once complete, the next step will be to clear land and move utilities. Construction could begin as early as 2013, pending funding approval from the bond commission. The estimated cost of construction is $20-$30 million."

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