Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:34 AM
SULPHUR — Erlene Pousson said it’s “impossible” to be in her backyard due to the speeding traffic on the gravel street behind her home.
Pousson said her backyard faces Carr Lane, which runs parallel to U.S. 90 connecting Beglis Parkway and Post Oak Road, and she and other residents in the area “would just like something done.”
Mayor Chris Duncan earlier this month brought the issue before the City Council, which unanimously voted to pave part of the street between Ohio Street and Post Oak Road with an experimental asphaltic surface treatment.
“This is a very unusual road situation,” he said. “Many years ago we put ash on the road, and it just didn’t hold up ... so we had to scrape it out and redo it with gravel. It’s a very heavily traveled road, and there’s a lot of dust there.”
Duncan said the resurfacing of the road will “take care” of the dust problem but that police will have to monitor for speeding.
John Bruce, public works director, said the city looked at several options for Carr Lane before arriving at a solution.
After traffic counts were done on Carr Lane and soil samples taken to check the street’s compatibility with options the city had, the recommendation was to seal-coat the roadway, he said.
Another option the city was looking at was to break the street into two roads that dead-end.
“It was not recommended to break it into two dead-end streets that we thought for a time might be an attractive option,” Bruce said. “The traffic counts suggested with this surface treatment the dust problem will be solved but it doesn’t anticipate any other adverse effects.”
Bruce said the surface treatment is experimental “in the sense that the city doesn’t use it.”
“It’s a well-proven system out there,” he added. “It’s used primarily in rural areas on gravel roads. In saying experimental, I don’t want to imply that it’s an unknown material.”
The surface treatment is the same that was used on Gradney Road as a demonstration project to see if the asphaltic surface applied to other areas, which Carr Lane was a potential candidate for.
Bruce said at the time Gradney Street was surfaced, the review of Carr Lane to check its compatibility had not gone back to the city, so they were unable to combine it with Gradney Street.
The project will cost $20,000.
Duncan said he believes it’s a “great first step.”