Further Delays in Construction of Sullivan Road

Workers returned to Sullivan Road two weeks ago, but don’t get excited.  They are only there to clean up and move out.   

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is in the process of parting ways with Boone Services on the Sullivan Road widening project from Wax Road to Hooper Road after four years on the job.  Boone Services will be restoring the roadside to a suitable condition before leaving the unfinished job site permanently.

On Feb. 7, 2022, Mayor David Barrow met with DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, two DOTD assistants, and Fred Raiford from the City-Parish.  The mayor was told at that time that DOTD is in the process of contractually removing Boone Services from the project.  It was also stated that DOTD wishes to redesign the roadway project again for a third time to remove the proposed roundabout at Hooper & Sullivan and go back to a traditional intersection with turn lanes and traffic signal.   

DOTD said the roundabout would have added more time to acquire right-of-way and relocate utilities.  Over $200,000 had recently been spent on engineering plans to design the roundabout.   The DOTD officials said they would do further studies to determine if a roundabout should be built there when Hooper Road is eventually widened.

Mayor Barrow said, “According to DOTD studies, the signalized intersection at Hooper and Sullivan will be less efficient than the roundabout and will result in longer delays and longer backups at the intersection, but this is the method they are choosing in order to move the project along faster and have it let for bids by summer.”

As part of redesigning back to a signalized intersection, there will not be any improvements made to the north side of the intersection to improve flow.  There will still be only one through lane.  

Mayor Barrow said, “Currently, during peak hours, traffic coming from the north typically backs up past Jackson Park.  With a roundabout, the backups on the north side would be approximately 402 feet in the morning peak hour with an average delay of 35 seconds.  With the proposed signalized intersection, the backups on the north side would be approximately 1,041 feet with an average delay of 64.3 seconds.”

When asked about the sewer line installation project that is currently underway on the east side, with lines still to be installed on the west side, DOTD was not quite sure how that project was going to be finished, but the sewer line installations will also have to be redesigned, Barrow reported.  

Mayor Barrow said, “Over $400,000 has been spent on engineering plans to design this project since 2012, and now additional funds and agreements are being requested by DOTD to redesign the project for a third time, and it appears we’re not going to get the most efficient intersection design at this time.  There is no decision on how and when the remaining sewer line installations will be completed.”

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