DOTD hosted a roomful of frustrated residents of the Hwy 44 corridor south of Gonzales on Tuesday at Ascension’s Governmental Complex. The state agency’s plan to address traffic congestion/safety along the well-traveled roadway, traffic expected to worsen when two major subdivisions are built out, is a roundabout south of Hwy 941/Loosemore Rd. The plan drew mixed reviews from a host of citizens who have urged installation of a traffic signal at Hwy 44’s intersection with the roads for some time.
A second roundabout is already in the works further north where future residents of Conway and Oak Lake subdivisions enter/exit. That one will be privately funded and additional lanes of travel will be added to Hwy 44, extending the four-lane highway in the City of Gonzales south to Hwy 941/Loosemore.
Joel Robert, who resides on Hwy 44 about .5 mile south of 941/Loosemore, has witnessed traffic congestion “become a critical issue” for his neighbors.
“Something’s gotta be done to relieve it, and maybe the roundabout is a solution,” he conceded. “We wish it would happen sooner than DOTD’s plan indicates.”
Once design is finalized bids for the roundabout project would go out in 2021 with actual construction to begin thereafter, likely 2022. What’s to be done in the interim?
DOTD personnel floated the idea of synchronization of existing traffic lights, at Edenborne Parkway in the city and the entrance to Pelican Point subdivision. No one voiced objection though many want a traffic signal to control Hwy 44 and Hwy 941/Loosemore.
“At least temporarily,” Robert suggested “though without turn lanes on Hwy 44 left turns would have to be prohibited.”
And the speed limit on must be lowered from 55 m.p.h.
That was something upon which Robert and his Parish Council representative, Bill Dawson could agree.