DUBBERLY — “Stop truckers! Your GPS is wrong!! NOT a thru-road! Dead end ahead! Detour-Central School Road.”
It’s not exactly your typical traffic warning, but it’s one of a group of signs clustered at the intersection of Coussons Road and Sawmill Road south of Dubberly. Webster Parish Police Jury members hope the signs will shut down 18-wheeler traffic on the narrow, dead-end roadway.
Jury members voted unanimously at their recent meeting to close the section of Coussons Road past Sawmill to big trucks after two residents whose driveway turns from the dead end reported big trucks had damaged a decorative brick pillar while trying to turn around.
“The signs have been in place but the rigs were driving right past them. Google Map still showed Coussons Road open all the way to Sand Plant Road and the drivers were believing their GPS, but it’s been closed for some time now,” Ted Holloway, public works director for the police jury said.
“When the drivers got to the dead end, there simply wasn’t room to turn around easily. They caused some damage to a brick post belonging to one of the homeowners who lives down there and almost got into a fence,” he added.
Holloway said 18-wheelers are delivering equipment and supplies for a compressor station which is being built in the area off Harvey’s Barbershop Road near its intersection with Sand Plant Road. If Coussons Road was still open, the trucks would have to be using a lightly traveled road to deliver their loads.
In addition to its action concerning Coussons Road, jury members agreed to abandon a section of one parish road and will hold a public hearing on abandoning a portion of another at its next meeting. Jurors approved abandoning a 135-foot piece of Walker Road, located off Diamond T. Road, and will consider abandoning 440 feet at the end of Heflin Ranch Road.
Holloway said there are several reasons the police jury will consider abandoning a section of a parish roadway. The most recent requests came from landowners.
“On these two occasions, landowners have bought property at the end of the roads, both of which are dead end roads,” he said. “They don’t want people coming onto their property…” and abandoning the road helps cut off access.
Once a road or section of a road has been abandoned, the police jury no longer has responsibility for upkeep, Holloway added.
Holloway said roads can also be abandoned if it is no longer feasible for jury crews to provide upkeep and repair.
“We closed a couple some time ago, but they were dirt roads that went to hunting camps. Years ago people lived there, but they have passed away and no one resides there anymore. The places were turned into hunting camps and four-wheelers were tearing up the roads. It became unfeasible to keep them maintained,” he explained.