Skip to comments.Sulphur councilman addresses traffic issues
Posted on 03/17/2018 1:06:04 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
SULPHUR After the Sulphur City Council adjourned their meeting Monday night, councilman Stuart Moss spoke at length about what he considers to be a public health and safety issue.
The traffic issues on Maplewood Drive have become outrageous, said Moss. Not one person can do this (fix the issue) and its not going to be resolved overnight.
Moss was referring specifically to the intersection at Prater Road and Maplewood Drive. Moss lives on Eveland off of Maplewood and said during peak time (from 3:30 p.m. until as late as 9 p.m.), it can take an hour and 15 minutes, traveling eastbound on Maplewood, to get from Cities Service Highway to his street. From Eveland to Prater takes an additional 40 to 45 minutes.
Moss said the area had already been dealing with increased traffic due to industrial construction. With the start of work on the Interstate 10 bridge, inconvenience has turned to deadlock.
In early March, Moss rode along with Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coats for several hours to survey the traffic situation at several intersections. Moss said he noted a car at the intersection of Eveland and Maplewood and said it had just made it to the Prater Road overpass when he and Coats passed by two hours later.
The extent of the problem was made clear when the men were alerted that a woman stuck in traffic near the Prater-Maplewood intersection was in active labor. The woman had three kids, 6 and younger, in her car and she was crying, he said. Moss said the womans doctor said she needed immediate medical attention, so Coats escorted her out of line, Moss took over the drivers seat in her car, and Coats led them down Walcott Road, to U.S. 90, then to I-10, to a Lake Charles hospital.
That lady was so stressed out, Moss said. Her husband wasnt here, her family was stuck in Lake Charles and shes in labor. Moss said he didnt recount the incident to put a feather in my cap, but, instead, to show the severity of the situation.
Moss said more manpower is needed to direct traffic. If we have four officers at night, we cant take one of them off duty to place them out there during peak times, he said. He said he has asked the administration to assign a special detail to the intersection. If this council has to approve overtime, or whatever it takes, we are going to make sure we have traffic control.
He also suggested that local industry could help by paying for a Louisiana state trooper to work the intersection. He noted that they already fund one on Pete Manena Road.
Moss also sent out a request to all businesses in the area to take steps to alleviate traffic. He recommends staggering work times and carpooling.
Moss said suggestions to block streets or erect barriers arent feasible. He has consulted with attorneys, who said residents could designate their neighborhood as a gated community, but they would then be responsible for transporting all trash receptacles out to city streets, and maintain their own streets, culverts, utilities, etc.
Moss said he had sent email requests to representatives from Sasol and Axiall/Lotte, as well as to the states Department of Transportation and Development, to attend the Monday council meeting.
In the emails, Moss said, people are trapped in their homes, and neighborhood streets are overrun with 18-wheeler traffic. Moss noted that some of the 18-wheelers cutting through neighborhoods are carrying hazardous materials.
Its not just the traffic, the delays, the two hours to get to Lake Charles, he said. Whats it going to cost to fix our streets?
Moss said Sasol responded and said they are staggering shifts and providing incentives for employees to carpool. They also told Moss they are looking at special signalization and employing traffic officers to assist in traffic management.
Moss said he will facilitate meetings with the representatives he has contacted. Im not wanting to pick a fight with DOTD, he said. But this has happened because of the bridge and this will continue until we get some negotiation with them.
Oh, Louisiana, thanks. I was wondering where this was.
Is that the Westlake bridge being redone?
Is that the name of the nearby I-10 bridge over Lake Charles. I looked at it on Google Street View, and it looks quite functionally obsolete. It undoubtedly needs to be replaced, and given its ornate railings, could have preceded the 1956 Federal Highway act, for all I know.