NEW ORLEANS – Neighbors on an often empty Central City street have been noticing something strange lately.
They called the Action Line when city trucks started dumping asphalt on the street. Instead of fixing potholes, or smoothing it over, the asphalt just sits.
As WWL-TV news truck drove on Clio Street, the city dump truck bed was just being lowered and a pile of fresh asphalt poured on the street. The workers saw the Eyewitness News vehicle, jumped in their truck, and took off down the street.
Now, City Hall says it's identified the truck driver and has opened an investigation.
"Seen a bunch of scared people running," Dale Foret said.
The security cameras on Foret's nearby business caught the truck dumping asphalt in the street, then our arrival, and the truck's quick departure. Foret's email to The Action Line said it has happened before.
"Two or three years, four years," Foret said. "It's sporadic. They'll come and they'll dump, maybe two or three days in a row, then you might not see them for a few months. Then they'll come dump again. It's really sporadic."
Foret showed us other videos, one from August 30, showing the truck laying down a ragged strip of deep piles of loose asphalt down the entire block.
"Fifteen to twenty minutes, dump it and go, and we don't see them no more,” he said.
The street is no better with the extra asphalt.
“You can hardly drive down it,” Foret said. “The street is so rough right now you can hardly drive down it."
Then he showed cell phone video of asphalt being dumped in February on the same isolated block.
"They was here probably about maybe ten minutes doing this one here, dumping. Dumped it and spread out, then they'll pull off,” he explained.
If you were wondering if the street is filled with potholes at the dump site, it’s not.
“No, not potholes, just a dead end,” said Foret.
He had an earlier cell phone picture of asphalt being dumped last December.
"Just really tired of the city wasting all this asphalt," Foret said. "We got such bad streets in our neighborhood, and they're dumping all this asphalt over here instead of patching the streets that need to be patched."
A City Hall spokesman sent WWL-TV a response to our inquiries. It read:
This work was not authorized by the City's Department of Public Works. The asphalt will be removed and repairs will be made to the street. We have identified the tow truck driver involved, and pending our investigation, appropriate action will be taken swiftly to hold staff accountable for this unauthorized work.
(© 2016 WWL)