New road’s rapid deterioration prompts complaint

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 Chairman 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 him that his company would not be able to apply the primer layer and Buckley said he told Fulmer that the parish would apply the primer for the Scotts Hideway project. 

Apparently, that didn’t happen, and Dreher built the road without applying a primer coat.

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.

Strickland said she was in the meeting in which Buckley told Fulmer that the parish would handle to the primer application.

“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 before it had cured.

Fulmer said he believes the road is performing as expected.

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