Residents received the answers they were hoping for. The Smooth Ride Home project is now making progress.
Parish President Bill Fontenot says so far 100 miles in the parish have been repaved. One Opelousas resident, Rogers Brown Sr., lives down Austin Road and says he’s glad the roads are now easier to drive on. “Oh it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful. You ain’t gotta worry about no bumps or nothing.”
Fontenot says 85% of the first phase of the $66 million road improvement project is complete.
Brown has lived on Austin road for 75 years and remembers when the road was just made of dirt. Brown says before the project…the road was horrible. “It was real bad. I remember when this road was here. Two cars couldn’t pass at the same time. Like busses one had to stop while the other one had to slide by.”
While Brown’s road has been completed, Sunset resident, Larry Singletary, says his road has not. Singletary lives on Chretien Point Road and describes it as “beyond repair”. “Cars.. your vehicles here we’ve had numerous vehicles with car problems. You can’t keep your wheels aligned. If you go more than 35 miles an hour on this road your wheels won’t stay in alignment very long.”
Fontenot says Chretien Point Road is one of the 15 roads left to repair in phase one. He says recent rainfall has halted contractors from getting much of the work finished.
After attending Wednesday’s council meeting, Singletary says he was pleased to hear his road would be fixed soon. “It’s about tourists coming through here and it’s about people wanting to see the best of Louisiana and not the worst. We’re just elated that something good is going to come out of it.”
Fontenot says if weather permits, he hopes to have the first phase of the project complete in the next few weeks.