NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KALB) - When you travel down a road every day, it's understandable you'd like it to be drivable and to be maintained. But for some residents in Natchitoches Parish, that's not the case.
"It actually was a very good road to travel on,” explained Jim Delrie. “It was very smooth and maintained."
Delrie’s referring to Emmanuel Road in Cloutierville, the road he grew up on. Yes, he's grown up and moved away now, but he still travels it almost every day to visit his parents.
He said through time, as many roads do, it began to wear down.
"Over the years it began to have some problems with potholes."
But he said it wasn't that much of an issue. That is, until action was taken.
"Somewhere along the lines the Parish decided they didn't want a paved road in this section,” explained Delrie. “So they stripped off the asphalt."
Now, Delrie refers to the first few miles of the road as a mud pit.
"The biggest issue has been when it rains, it's almost impassable,” said Delrie. “And people don't want to come on the road anymore because it's so bad for their cars."
We reached out to Natchitoches Parish about the concern, Parish President Rick Nowlin said it all comes down to a budget issue.
He issued the following statement:
"Reconstruction of a failed asphalt road can cost $300,000 per mile or more. The road is approximately 7.5 miles long.
"The parish does not have the equipment or resources to hard surface the road. Over the past three years the parish has expended over $130,000 in maintenance of the road. By comparison there are approximately 16 residence on the road who pay a total of about $150 per year in maintenance taxes.
“The Parish is exploring possible sources of additional revenue to improve Emmanuel Road and many others that are in similar failed condition."
Ultimately, Delrie said they'll wait to see what happens, in the meantime they only wish the Parish would make it a little easier.
"The hope would be that the parish would at least come in and open the ditches, and put enough gravel on the road so that it's not a mud pit," expressed Delrie.