Baton Rouge – Monitoring for slope movement is continuing on a portion of La. 474 in Sabine Parish, closed three months ago, according to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials.
The slide on La. 474, between Negreet and Florien, was discovered by DOTD officials on a routine route inspection. Shortly after making the discovery, DOTD decided to shut down the 300 feet of highway containing the slide for the safety of the motoring public.
“Severe cracks and settlement of the pavement are telltale signs that a road is sliding, thus necessitating the need to close La. 474,” said Wayne Marchand, District 8 administrator for DOTD. “People think it is just another pothole in the road, but the problem is really down deep in the earth. Until we know what the cause is, we can’t determine the appropriate solution.”
To find out why the highway has begun to slide, DOTD’s Geotechnical Engineering Section has installed instrumentation on the highway and has been monitoring for slope movement since April 7, but has not seen evidence for the cause of the failure.
According to Marchand, the fact that Louisiana is currently in a drought tends to slow any movement of the earth and is delaying the progress of determining the cause. The slide will continue to be monitored until the cause is found.