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Henderson Levee Road still collapsing after more than three years in disrepair

Lack of funding stalling project
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 19:07:13-05

HENDERSON, La. — After partially collapsing more than three years ago, Henderson Levee Road (Highway 352), still has not been fixed. Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette remembers a phone call he received in July of 2017, notifying him that part of the highway was collapsing.

"A lady calls me and she said, 'Are you the Mayor of Henderson?' And I said, 'Yes I am.' She said, You better come on the levee real quick!'" When he arrived, Colette said he had to move his truck back off the road because he was afraid it would collapse with the weight of his truck on it.

It didn't stop there. "Within a matter of days, you started having more slides," adds the Mayor. Three years later, the damage now extends nearly one mile, leaving only one lane to drive on and causing delays for others who have to wait.

"It affects everybody and you gotta understand this, thousands and thousands of people that come to that lake every year," says Colette.

The partial closure of the levee road affects fishing, tourism, and it even affects traffic in the Town of Henderson when there is an accident on Interstate 10. One thing that has Colette especially concerned is the effects of natural disaster should one occur, saying, "It's a hurricane evacuation route, state highway, and for us in Henderson, it's just outside the city limits, but I'm fighting for it just as much as anybody else because it affects my people."

Due to a lack of funding, the Department of Transportation and Development was unable to give Colette an estimated timeframe for the repairs.