POSTED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 5:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 5:04am
Napoleonville, LA (NBC33) — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development released its first proposals for constructing detours and bypass routes for LA 70 near Bayou Corne.
A project team from DOTD has worked with engineers from CB&I for several months to come up with alternatives to LA 70, which runs near the sinkhole caused by a failed Texas Brine salt cavern.
The sinkhole currently covers 24 acres, and every expansion puts the highway at further risk of damage.
The designers showcased two potential emergency detour routes and three bypass routes at a public meeting Tuesday night.
The project is currently in its first phase. Among the tasks being undertaken by DOTD and CB&I employees are cost estimates (including utility relocation, permit acquisition, and construction), traffic and environmental impact studies, and public outreach.
A few dozen residents of the Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne communities attended Monday's public meeting. They had an opportunity to chat with engineers from CB&I about their concerns, such as traffic on alternate roads and the impact on local businesses.
One member of the project team said even the emergency detours are not ready to be implemented any time soon. DOTD will likely conduct public meetings about the next stage of the process within six months.