Iowa residents petition for pavement

Allison Cryer
Sunday, August 5, 2018

IOWA - A resident is asking the parish to pave a dirt road near the parish line in Iowa.

Clay Henry, who lives on Gordon Denison Road, told Jeff Davis police jurors this week that he and 22 other petitioners feel their neighborhood has been neglected when it comes to road repairs and drainage.

“In the last 25 years of living on Gordon Denison Road, I have seen little effort made to improve or maintain the roadway surface, signs, ditches and drainage,” Henry said.

The one-mile stretch of dirt road extends from La. 383 to the Calcasieu Parish border in the far western portion of the parish.

Henry said the dust from the road is so heavy that he is unable to open his windows or keep his vehicle clean, and that his children have been affected by the dust and have experienced allergy problems.

“Currently Gordon Denison is still a dirt road, with more traffic, more residents and poor drainage,” he said. “I built my home because I love living in the country, but I hate the fact that sitting on my front porch is impossible, due to heavy dust and dirt from passing vehicles.”

When it rains, Henry said, the road becomes impassable, keeping some reside nts from being able to leave or return to their homes.

Henry also said that he has observed vehicles speeding down the roadway.

“I hate the fact that people drive 65 mph or faster because they know no sheriff’s officers ever patrol down dusty, old Denison Road,” Henry said.

According to Henry, residents have been promised on multiple occasions that improvements would be made to the roadway by parish officials.

“Since 1993, we have had multiple police jury men and parish road supervisors, which have all made empty promises about repairing or overlaying Gordon Denison Road,” he said.

He said that on two occasions in the last 25 years, a road tax was passed to fund the paving of rural parish roads. While Gordon Denison was included on the list, no work was ever completed.

“District 10 has more subdivisions than ever before, more taxes being collected than ever before, and still the same poor roads and drainage,” he said. “According to my findings, Jennings, Lake Arthur and Welsh areas get almost all priority. Most roads are already paved and also have lower house counts than Gordon Denison Road.”

Henry presented police jurors with a petition signed by 22 residents, all who are requesting an overlay of the one-mile stretch of Gordon Denison. Henry asked police jurors to agree to a timeline to pave the road and address lowering the speed limit, along with increasing sheriff’s office patrols in the area.

Dist. 10 Police Juror Byron Buller said the parish would review the petition and determine what assistance can be provided.