Record-breaking rainfall pushes back I-49 construction completion date

Record-breaking rainfall pushes back I-49 construction completion date

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Record-breaking rainfall has caused the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to put the construction along Interstate-49 construction in North Caddo Parish on hold.

"There's nothing we can do we have no control over the weather," said Theola Russell, a Shreveport resident.

"Currently the construction yard is also submerged we've seen that happen a couple of times with the historic flooding that we've had in 2015 and 2016 and it's not anything new, but it does impede construction progress and construction activity at the site," said DOTD Spokeswoman Erin Buchanan.

Not to mention, the entrance to the construction site on Russell road is completely underwater.

"So what we're seeing here on Russel Road is an overflow of McCain Creek and that is overflowing because 12-mile Bayou is also swollen so when we start to see some of that recede this water will start to recede," Buchanan said.

KSLA News 12's Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle says February's showers washed away a 79-year-old rainfall record.

"We did wrap up the month of February as the wettest on record in Shreveport. More than 9 inches of rain fell here in February 2018. That beat the old record of 8.96 in 1939," Castle stated.

Buchanan says anytime a project encounters that much rain, some stalling will occur.

"On this particular project with this weather event maybe a couple of weeks as far as a setback and getting most of that activity on the construction yard."

Residents in the Martin Luther King neighborhood say they have been waiting for 4 years for the I-49 construction to be completed, so the barricades along Russel Road could come down.

"We looking at somewhere around August or September, of course, the people in this area might not like it if it goes much longer," said Shreveport resident Refus Combs.

DOTD will resume work when the water recedes and the area dries. They predict the project will be delayed by a couple of weeks.

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