NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – There are several intersections in New Iberia that do not have railroad crossing gates. At others, the flashing red lights don’t work, and there are no cross-bucks and bells, which prevent drivers from entering the intersection if a train is approaching.
David Broussard, Council Member District 3, says the state owed the city more than $178,000 to put up these flashing red lights as well as crossbucks and bells to prevent someone from crossing the road if a train is coming.
He thinks the state was planning to use the funding for other construction projects across Louisiana because there weren’t any projects going on in New Iberia at that time. So he visited the Department of Transportation and Development, as well as visited with and spoke to lawmakers in Baton Rouge, to get that money back for the city to fix the rail crossing problems.
“Took the money, put it to another project in Lafayette,” said Broussard.
He’s very upset the state tried to use money that should’ve stayed in place for the railroad safety, something the city has been working on for a while.
“It’s illegal to move the money to another project. We don’t know who moved it, we don’t know who they are, they won’t admit they moved it. But it’s kind of odd. In three months, I’ve been talking and going to Baton Rouge, several times, and calling on a daily basis, and they never told me to go forget about it. No, they knew, it was a wrongful doing,” said Broussard.
One resident who lives near the tracks says this is a major safety concern.
“It’s kind of dangerous, with the train coming, with the cars, and the kids playing out here, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Monique Frederick, a resident of New Iberia.
Broussard says the city has since been reimbursed the money that they were originally owed, in order to now be able to fix these railroad crossings, but he will keep fighting for his residents to get every penny.
“I’m fighting, all officials, should fight and keep their monies, in Iberia Parish, not fight for the money that some other parish uses. We got it back for Iberia Parish,” he said.
We reached out to an official with the Department of Transportation and Development, and have not received a comment back at this time.