Flooding Responsible For $20 Million In State Highway Damage
How could Louisiana roadways get any worse? Add record rainfall and floods of historic proportions that's how. The horrific high water event of earlier this month certainly took its toll on life and property across our state. Most of the attention, deservedly so, was placed on residents and homes affected by the flood. Now comes word that no matter where you lived in the state of Louisiana these floods have affected you too.
The way those of us who stayed high and dry will be affected most will be in the form of roadway repairs. Louisiana's Department of Transportation estimates the flooding damage to the state's highways to be at least $20 million.
Shawn Willson, Secretary of the DOTD, told the Louisiana Radio Network,
We’re in a constant assessment process of what’s going to be considered an emergency repair. Some areas may still be underwater or bridges may still be experiencing high water before we can do an inspection.
That's the bad news. Here is the worse news. The state is already sitting on a backlog of $13 million in roadway repairs that needed to be done even before the high happened. Speculation is that some of these roadways in need of repair may have suffered even more damage due to flooding.
A road that may have needed overlay or added capacity, could be the road that was wiped out as a result of the high water event.
While inspections are still being ordered for roadways across the state and some roadways are still underwater awaiting inspection when the water recedes there is a good chance that estimate could go even higher. State officials are currently working with their federal counterparts to funnel funds to the projects that need it the most.