Police jury may sue over roads

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

After months of battling what they say is shoddy roadwork, the Concordia Parish Police Jury voted Monday to look at suing the road contractor they say is responsible.

Blain Companies, of Natchez, were contracted to complete the first phase in reconstructing parish roads. The new roads began to form cracks and dips soon after being constructed, jury member Jimmy Jernigan said in past meetings.

At Monday’s meeting, a visibly distraught Jernigan presented a slide of pictures of a cracked and, in some places is sinking, Gallup Road.

Email newsletter signup

In July, a consulting firm drilled cores out of the road to make sure it met state standards.

It didn’t, Jernigan said.

In some areas, the road was found to be 2 1/2 inches thick, compared with the regulation 12 inches, he said.

“They want to go overlay it, hide all their mistakes, and six months later, it busts open again,” Jernigan said. “We’ve been to meeting after meeting with them. Every time, it’s the same old thing.

“If it takes going to court, that’s what we need to do. I’m tired of fooling with them.”

Jury member Joe Parker Sr. showed his own slides of cracks in Bayou Drive. In several pictures, a foot-long piece of steel was slid into cracks in the road.

Parker stood up and slapped the same piece of steel against his palm.

“(The road) is supposed to have a base,” Parker said. “If it does have a base, it’s lower than this.”

Jernigan’s motion to turn the issue over to the district attorney for potential litigation got a vocal and unanimous “aye” from the board.

Other board members suggested including Bayou Drive, Leroy Williams Road, Howard Road and Lyons Road in the topic, too.

In other business, the board voted to:

4Place a five-ton weight limit on Bayou Drive, Fisherman Drive, Tumilnello Road and upper and lower Levee Road.

4Keep the tax millage the same for 2007.