Editor’s Note: This article originally contained two errors that required correction. The original article incorrectly identified Johnny Buckley as chairman of the UPPJ road committee. Buckley is on the committee but is not the chairman. The article also incorrectly identified Buckley as being in a meeting in which the responsibility for laying primer was discussed. According to UPPJ Secretary-Treasurer Paula Strickland, Road Engineering Paul Riley was in that meeting, not Buckley. Both mistakes have been corrected in the article below.
By Luke Britt/Editor
A portion of Scotts Hideaway Road that was resurfaced less than a year old has begun to deteriorate and last week the Union Parish Police Jury sent the contractor who built the road a letter formally requesting that the company repair the road at its own expense.
The jury sent Dreher Contracting, LLC of Bastrop the letter following a Tuesday meeting of the Police Jury’s road committee during which Scotts Hideway residents pressed the jury to take action to compel Dreher to repair what they believe was sub-standard work.
According to residents, not long after the road was installed it began to bleed oil and in recent months has begun to crack and peel.
The Jury’s letter to Dreher reads, in part, “Since Dreher completed work on the Road, there has been a substantial amount of road bleeding and the Road is coming up in spots. Because the Road appears to be failing, the Police Jury is formally requesting that Dreher perform warranty work to repair the fault condition of the Road.”
Road Committee member Johnny Buckley said during the Tuesday meeting that part of the problem stems from the fact that the road was constructed without the use of a primer.
Primer applied before asphalt is poured helps the asphalt adhere to the ground and reduces the likelihood of the road shifting before it cures, which can cause a road to break apart.
The contract between the Police Jury and Dreher includes a statement that the contractor is responsible for applying a coat of primer before laying asphalt, but according to Buckley, before the contract was signed, Dreher owner Rodger Fulmer told the jury that his company would not be able to apply the primer layer and, Buckley said, Fulmer was told the parish would apply the primer for this project.
It is unclear why the road primer was not applied or why Dreher constructed the road despite the lack of primer.
Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer Paula Strickland said that road construction bids that involve the use of primer typically include a line item cost for applying primer and she noted that the bid Dreher submitted for the project makes no mention of primer.
“I think Dreher expected us to do the primer, and when that didn’t happen they built the road anyway,” Strickland said.
According to Fulmer, the road’s deterioration has nothing to do with the absence of primer but is rather the result of a logging project that brought heavy vehicles and other logging equipment onto the road shortly after it was installed.
Fulmer said he believes the road is performing as expected.