The St. Charles Parish Council signed off on a $163,955 contract to repair two sinkholes along U.S. Highway 90, but was advised it’s a move that has to be taken cautiously.
“We have no option other than to investigate and repair all this,” said Public Works Director Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux.
One of the sinkholes is located east of Majoria’s shopping center and the other is in Paradis near Ruth Street.
Although the two locations are in the state right of way, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will not help replace the defective culverts, Faucheux said.
“We did research,” he said. “We don’t have any evidence of the parish installing those, but apparently there was a permit from 1992 that either requested to change some of these culverts, to put some of these culverts in or to realign some of those culverts. Because of that permit, the state designated it as our issue.”
Faucheux said DOTD has miles of roads and it has cut back on resources.
“They have one culvert truck for five parishes,” he said. “We try to participate in helping them as much as we can.”
“If the parish accepted all the assets just in the parish we’d probably deplete every penny in Public Works probably in the first quarter.” — Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux
Faucheux emphasized Public Works walks a “fine line” everyday in trying not to be the owner of these assets in state ROWs, although there are times it can’t be helped.
Councilwoman Mary Clulee agreed, noting residents are affected the most by this and they need to be fixed.
But he advised it could bankrupt his department if this wasn’t carefully handled, and there are replacements being investigated along the highway.
“If the parish accepted all the assets just in the parish we’d probably deplete every penny in Public Works probably in the first quarter,” Faucheux said.
Hard Rock Construction of Harvey is the low bidder for the project, which involves replacing drainage structures causing the sinkholes. T. Baker Smith is the engineer overseeing the work.