Vidalia leaders discuss potential solutions for D.A. Biglane Road

Published 12:09 am Friday, July 14, 2017

VIDALIA — After discovering D.A. Biglane Road in the parish may be under the purview of the Town of Vidalia, Mayor Buz Craft recommended to aldermen Tuesday the town seek assistance to repair the road.

A month ago, residents of the road asked to be placed on a future agenda to discuss repairs to the road, as they had been told the town, not the Concordia Parish Police Jury, maintained the road. Craft told the residents then he would find out the ownership of the road, and if it belonged to the town, the town would fix it.

“This road is in bad need of repair,” Craft said Tuesday. “Regardless of where we come to tonight, I do want to get with the state and federal government, since our National Guard and airport are out there.”

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The road could also be important for industrial development, as Louisiana Elastomer was located on D.A. Biglane Road, Craft said.

Craft said the document states the town acquired right of ways and easements in 1997 from Louisiana 131 to Airport Road, where D.A. Biglane Road was built. Since discovering the town’s ownership of the road, Craft said town crews put gravel in the potholes in an attempt to improve the road, but residents said that only works until a storm washes it out.

Residents said the road has not received any major work since it was constructed, and the conditions of the potholes on the road are to the point where the road is tearing up vehicles.

Bryant Hammett and Associates Engineer Keith Capdepon said he did not have an estimate for a complete repair as he still needed to look at some aspects of the road’s foundation, but he provided estimates for temporary fixes.

Capdepon said leveling the bad areas of the road would cost approximately $100,000; leveling the road and putting overlay over it would cost approximately $200,000; and gravel and recompacting parts of the road would cost $50,000 to $60,000.

Craft said the town would be better off looking at a permanent solution, which could take more than 6 months, with help from the federal or state governments and perhaps the police jury.

Craft said some residents have a problem with the town repairing the road because the D.A. Biglane Road residents do not pay town taxes and are not on town utilities.

“I would rather maintain it until we come up with a permanent solution, than have to patch and spend $100,000 every three to four years,” Craft said.

Another addition to the problem of the road conditions is the use of heavy farm equipment and transport trucks using the road, residents said.

Craft said the town would start enforcing the weight limit, which Capdepon said is 10 tons. Craft said residents could call Vidalia Police Department or the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office to report suspected violators of the weight limit.

Alderman Tommy Probst said as long as the bean trucks were using the road, any fix the town paid for would be for nothing.

“If we fix it or patch it up, they would go through and tear it up again,” he said.

The board did not take any action, but Craft said he would begin making phone calls to representatives about the road this week.