Push made to get stop light at Des Allemands
There is no doubt in St. Charles Parish Councilman Paul Hogan’s mind that Alfred Tregre of Des Allemands would be alive today had there been a traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. Highway 90 and LA 632.
“Because it wasn’t there, Tregre went straight to cross at the end of the 631 spur and got T-boned,” said Hogan, at-large councilman who lives in Des Allemands.
Locally known as “Tat,” the 88-year-old man was killed in a crash near the intersection of Highway 90 and Carlon Drive in March. According to State Police, Tregre attempted to turn east on the highway, was struck on the driver’s side by a vehicle on the highway and pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Hogan, Tregre is the latest casualty to the politics of getting a traffic signal.
It’s also why Hogan said he got a council resolution adopted to again approach the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to replace the caution signal light there with a “fully functional traffic signal” at the Highway 90-LA 632 intersection.
“The traffic through Highway 90 there is horrendous,” Hogan said. “For us to have a school a quarter mile down LA 632 requires having officers there to control the traffic to avoid deaths at this intersection.”
With more than 33,000 vehicles using the roadway a day in the area, navigating on the heavily trafficked Highway 90 can be challenging.
At Hahnville High School, the traffic light there is placed on caution and deputies control the traffic through the intersection when needed.
“This same thing should be in Des Allemands,” Hogan said.Hogan, like fellow Councilman Billy Woodruff, maintain the St. Charles Parish School Board should push to get the signal installed or pay to have it done. Hogan said the intersection should be run like a school zone, particularly with Allemands Elementary School on WPA Road.
Woodruff, who represents the Des Allemands area, said he agreed the School Board should help put a signal there. He also maintained it should be a DOTD project and he’s going to state Sen. Gary Smith Jr., D-Norco for help.
“We definitely need a red light there,” Woodruff said.As a fairly new Des Allemands resident himself, Woodruff said he’d feel a lot safer if a light was there.
DOTD spokeswoman Bambi Hall said numerous studies done there don’t support the need for the signal.
By late 2015, DOTD did recommend the route marker on U.S. 90 eastbound for the LA 632 junction be relocated closer to the intersection “so drivers are not confused by the driveways in advance of the intersection,” Hall said.
DOTD also recommended a warning sign be added since LA 632 is the first intersection as drivers approach from the Des Allemands Bridge.
“Stop bar striping” on LA 632 also was refurbished as part of recently completed U.S. 90 median crossover improvements, she said.
Additionally, the median opening was narrowed to reduce “a potential conflict of vehicles.”
Also, by year’s end, Hall said DOTD will re-evaluate the intersection’s crash history to determine if more measures are warranted.
But Woodruff would not be deterred on the signal.
“You’ve got to be a pain in the ass and make them make you go away by providing a light,” he said.
School system spokeswoman Stevie Crovetto said Woodruff approached the School Board on July 7 and the school system is looking into this with the DOTD and is researching options.
For Hogan, getting the signal has become a sort of quest that has goes back to his own mother’s efforts who started a group called Concerned Citizens for Highway Safety.
“Anyone who knows the highway knows the heavy traffic, like 18-wheelers, flying though there,” he said. “I’m trying to get a safe intersection.”