Intersection project causes problems for some businesses | News
GREENWELL SPRINGS, LA(WAFB)- Some longtime industry owners in Baton Rouge claim a state of Louisiana project currently under construction is bad for business. The plan includes changing an intersection near North Sherwood Forest on Greenwell Springs Road.
In the last 13, years Dale Babin and his team of mechanics have put in some serious elbow grease. He said customer service was a key factor in building a successful auto repair business.
When a developer out of Kentucky started building across the street, Babin said the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development allowed his new neighbors to adjust the intersection in front of the property. It is not even finished yet and Babin said it has already thrown a wrench in his plans.
"I'm having customers complain already that they're having trouble getting into my location," Babin said.
Eddie Knippers owns the property and a manufacturing business on the same lot.
"We had a load of steel and we had to put it on another job and carry it in on pickup trucks," Knippers said.
Knippers said he paid for a left turn lane to be put in at the intersection 30 years ago, so large trucks could get to his business. Extending it, he said, defeats the purpose.
"By extending it, you can see the markings on the road. We won't be able to turn our 18-wheelers or get deliveries here," Knippers explained.
"We cannot make a turn into here without the trailers hitting the curbs," Babin added.
The new design has also affected a couple of homeowners. Jonathan Saucier drives a bus. He tried to make the turn onto the private road that leads to his house.
"See, there's no way I can take it through here without taking the tires and jumping the curb and if I do that, I'm going to bust my tires out," Saucier said.
Saucier then attempted to back out of the turn lane, but not before a gas truck pulled in behind him.
"He is backing into oncoming traffic. I'm backing into oncoming traffic. Now, it gets dangerous," Saucier added.
Saucier had to drive a half-mile up the road and through a shopping strip parking lot to turn his bus around. When he tried to make a right turn onto the private road, he hit another roadblock.
"See, I've got oncoming traffic. I can't do it. I would have to go to the other side and I can't make it," Saucier said.
Saucier and the 11 tenants who do business near the intersection said an engineer with LaDOTD told them he would revisit the issue. However, the ongoing construction has convinced them otherwise.
"They don't seem to be concerned about our business loss," Babin said.
LaDOTD spokeswoman, Jodi Conachen, said the state has made an immediate request for the developer to make adjustments to the intersection design to allow large trucks to turn into those businesses.
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