NEW ORLEANS - Driving down St. Bernard Avenue between Filmore and Robert E Lee is a challenge. The road is in such bad shape, with potholes, cracks, ruts, and broken pavement slabs leaning sharply that neighbors warn you to be careful, and don't speed.
"It's a war zone. It's an absolute war zone," said Wayne Neveu. "If you try to drive a straight line from Prentiss to St. Bernard, you're risking the vehicle, and risking whoever is in the vehicle."
"It's terrible, but I avoid it like the plague," said Jim Tingley. "I take Cartier over there, because it'll destroy your car."
But they've been promised this stretch of St. Bernard Avenue would be repaired through the Submerged Roads program.
"I'm mad as hell, Bill," complained Don Guerringer. "We've been told promises for over four or five years now regarding getting this section of St. Bernard repaired, and nothing has happened."
I was going to do an Action Report on this a couple of years ago, but was told at the time they were about to repair the street, so I backed off. Well, they didn't do the work. You can see how angry the residents are, so I'm going back to the officials to find out why it hasn't happened, and what the plans are, because this road just has to be fixed.
A state Transportation spokeswoman says federal officials decided this section was beyond the scope of the Submerged Roads program. Neighbors were stunned.
"It was gonna cost too much, because they've got to go down and replace everything, the water mains, the sewers, everything has to be replaced," said Tingley. "It can't be a cosmetic job."
So the project was kicked back to the city, which now says designs are underway for the entire project. After that is completed this fall, and pending a bond sale, the work is scheduled for 2014.
"Something needs to be done bad, it's a major thoroughfare, and we're just not being treated right," said Guerringer.