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Parish drilling road samples to prove flood damage to FEMA

A PSI crew takes a bore sample from Sligo Road. (Courtesy photo)

Samples of soil cement, the staple base for asphalt roads for years, are being drilled by contractors for the Bossier Parish Police Jury in an attempt to prove a point with a federal agency that could translate into millions of dollars for the parish.

Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI), was contracted by the jury in February to begin taking bore samples of soil cement on several parish roads. The goal is to provide evidence for FEMA that flood waters can cause a breakdown in a road’s subsurface. To date, approximately 68 samples have been taken.

Bossier Parish’s first application for FEMA assistance for repairing asphalt roads that had been damaged by flood waters in 2015 and 2016 was denied. An appeal was filed by the parish. 

“What we’re doing is going to roads that went under water and some that didn’t and getting samples,” Parish Engineer Butch Ford said.

Ford said the comparisons should show just how much soil cement is affected by flooding.

“We’ve seen the soil cement base from flooded roads that was cracked in some and almost non-existent in others. As a result, the asphalt topping was separating and developing cracks and potholes. We think our evidence will present a strong case to FEMA in our appeal. It could mean a lot of money we sorely need for parish roads,” he said.

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