Letter to the Editor,
I write this letter not knowing where else to turn. The roads in Natchitoches Parish are in deplorable condition, particularly in my area Hart Road (Par. Rd. 317), Pardee Road (Par. Rd. 319) and Sandy Point Road. There are so many potholes in the roads that drivers are veering into homeowners yards to navigate around them. Traveling from my home back to Hwy 9 would normally take 3 to 5 minutes, but now it takes at least fifteen minutes. This is due to the roads falling into a horrendous state of repair. The school buses have a difficult time traveling their routes and a neighbor was told by Fedex that a package could not be delivered for several days due to the road conditions. Many vehicles have suffered tires, shocks & front end damage, including mine.
We love this area with its scenic beauty, excellent fishing, wildlife, and great neighbors. We bought a nice home here in Natchitoches Parish several years ago and moved here permanently this past year. The horrid road conditions are causing concern for me and our neighbors about property values decreasing in an otherwise positive real estate market. Our taxes are high and yet our roads have deteriorated significantly in the past twelve months.
We have called the Parish Council-Public Works Department numerous times in the past nine months to alert them of particularly dangerous potholes. Those that answer the phones have been nice and occasionally sent crews out to apply a cold patch or place a gravel/concrete dust mixture but those temporary fixes rarely last more than a few weeks. We have asked to speak with someone in the Public Works Department or Parish Council and been told that someone would return our call. No one has yet returned our phone calls. Recently some neighbors have helped by taking their personal tractors to smooth areas just to make the roads passable. Some have place concrete blocks & logs into deeper potholes.
Two churches in our area, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church and Family Worship Center have seen positive growth this year. However, due to the roads diminishing so significantly in the past nine months that now parishioners are having a difficult time just getting to church. We have spoken to many families and lay leaders in both churches and all the leaders are very concerned with this problem. Also the roads leading to the public boat landings on Westwind and Sandy Point Road are in such poor condition that fewer and fewer fisherman/sportsman and their families are coming to the lake because they are afraid of damage to their vehicles, boats and trailers. The road conditions are definitely causing economic problems for the restaurants on Hwy 9 with reduced visitors to our beautiful parish. Something must be done! Who in our parish government will be held accountable?
Debbie, Campti, LA
The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal. If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.