Youngsville moving to fix prematurely crumbling parkway

Portions of Chemin Metairie Parkway in Youngsville are crumbling prematurely under the weight of heavy trucks hauling construction material, cement and dirt in the quickly growing community, according to Youngsville officials.

Mayor Wilson Viator said Wednesday the City Council has declared the situation a public emergency and plans to move quickly to resurface the road — a project estimated to cost from $500,000 to $750,000.

The damage is in the roundabout at East Milton Avenue and Chemin Metairie Parkway and the southbound lane of Chemin Metairie heading south from the roundabout.

“It’s beginning to deteriorate and turn into potholes,” Viator said. “The road is just giving because of all of the weight.”

The sections of road in question are about five years old.

“We built this for a 10-year life, but it’s not expected to last half that time,” Viator said.

The mayor said the city tried patching the asphalt, but those patches have not held up through an unusually wet and icy winter.

The damage is believed to have been caused by higher-than-expected truck traffic.

The traffic count for passenger vehicles on the road is just a bit higher than projections made at the time it was built, Viator said, but the volume of heavy trucks on the road is ten times initial projections.

Viator said that is attributable in part to new residential subdivisions popping up off the southern stretch of Chemin Metairie, the destination of many a load of construction materials and dirt-filled dump trucks.

Another source of heavy truck traffic has been the new sports complex taking shape just south of the roundabout.

The mayor said the work at the sports complex alone has brought 1,800 dump trucks filled with dirt and 1,000 cement trucks down the road.

The plan, Viator said, is to replace the failing asphalt with concrete.

He said work will begin as soon as a contractor can be lined up, although he said it’s too early to predict a start date.

“It’s an emergency. We should get it done immediately,” Viator said.

The work will be done in two phases to allow traffic to continue to flow, with each phase taking about 30 days, Viator said.