About 25 residents, living near the railroad crossing at the intersection of East Saint Peter and Caroline streets in New Iberia, met with DOTD to persuade them to keep it open on Wednesday.
Gerald Bayard, a resident of Caroline Street for over 40 years, is spearheading the neighborhood effort. “Less access and it doesn’t look good. A big old barricade right up in front of the track, I don’t think it looks good,” said Bayard.
DOTD spokeswoman Deidra Druilhet said they look at all state crossings and Wednesday was just the first visit they made to this site.
“We’re still in the early stages, so one of the things we have to do is study. We have to examine everything. Look at the entire area. Look at the alternates,” said Druilhet. If you keep driving to the end of Caroline Street and you’ll hit a nursing home—New Iberia Manor South.
The administrator there, Ryan Richard, put out a letter on Wednesday in opposition to the potential closing of the railroad crossing. Here’s what he had to say:
“I feel it will be a disruption in the quality of service to our nursing home…this access…is used frequently by visitors, service providers, and emergency personnel.” Both Richard and city councilman David Merrill said there are other routes, but, in an emergency, every second counts.
“It would take a little time off of them getting that sickly person or whatever to the nursing facility or even carry them out of that facility,” said Merrill.