Long-awaited, much delayed road improvement project is close to completion after more than two years
By Stacey Tinsley, firstname.lastname@example.org
A major, long-awaited road project in Bossier City is finally coming to a conclusion…soon.
The construction to improve drainage and widen Shed Road to four lanes, has taken significantly longer than expected. Drivers and businesses along Shed Road have been dealing with construction since June 2016.
However, Bossier City Engineer Mark Hudson has good news for residents and local drivers, saying, ”It’s been a long time getting here. Lots of problems, lots of bad weather, lots of unforeseen difficulties have popped up along the way. It will be finished as soon as possible.”
The construction was haunted by several issues, from newly installed water mains that were damaged and had to be dug up and replaced to state-approved contractors going out of business leaving materials in limbo.
However, Hudson noted the main reason for the delay in finishing Shed Road has been weather.
“We were unfortunate that the last two years have been extraordinarily wet and rainy. If it’s raining, nothing can be done that day,” Hudson said. “I regret this has taken so long, but we didn’t make any big mistakes. We uncovered some unforeseen difficulty early on at Airline Drive with the drainage pipe and then all the rains. It’s just sorta like the perfect storm that made us take so long.”
This not only frustrated residents living in the neighborhoods connected to the road, but businesses that were located on the thoroughfare.
One of those businesses affected by the project was Cascio’s Market Bistro.
Cascio’s Market Bistro Owner T.J. Forrest told the Press-Tribune in July 2017 that construction had been a disaster, saying, “I sunk everything I had into this place…We’re normally packed in here for lunch five days a week. Right now, we might get packed one day during the week. People don’t want to drive their cars down this road.”
Since most of the construction on Shed Road has completed and become a two lane road, for now, Forrest now says business has slightly improved.
“Business has picked up a little bit but it’s sporadic right now. It’s going to take forever to recoup some of the money that we have lost over the past few years since they started working on the road,” Forrest said. “They put the road down and now they are cutting out sections that have cracks in it. It just seems like they’re never going to get finished.”
Before the project can be finished, crews will be pouring concrete and putting on finishing touches.
“We have a few more sidewalks to pour, we need to fix a couple of cracked concrete panels, and, lastly, the street needs to be striped before it will be finished,” Hudson explained.
Hudson pointed out that improved drainage will benefit the residents living near the road.
“We installed a ton of new drainage that’s going to help the adjoining neighborhoods drain. They have always had drainage problems. This will serve the public for a long time once the project is complete,” he said.