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|Sterlington asks state to review speed limit along U.S. 165|
Increased commercial development along U.S. Highway 165 near the town of Sterlington could lead to lower speed limits on the busy road in the near future.
The Sterlington board of aldermen approved a preliminary request for a speed study at its regular meeting Tuesday. Alderman Ladd Williams introduced the idea of lowering the speed limit in the area after a group of concerned residents approached him.
"I just wanted to bring this up and get some discussion started about what we need to do to pull the speed limit down through the town limits," Williams said.
Williams said the biggest area of concern is the intersection of Highway 165 and Fairbanks Road, near Sterlington High School.
Alderman Ron Hill said the curve just before that intersection is to blame for much of the problems. Hill said the site has seen more than a few traffic accidents through the years.
"We've had a couple of spectacular crashes near that intersection, including a death," Hill said.
Currently, the speed limit at the junction of Highway 165 and Fairbanks Road is 65 miles per hour. Hill said reducing the speed there could save lives.
Aldermen unanimously approved requesting a speed study from the state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). Since the road is a federal highway, all speed limits must be approved by DOTD.
Sterlington Mayor Vern Breland said he will send a letter to DOTD requesting the speed study, which could take up to six months to complete.
If state officials deem it necessary, the speed limit would be automatically adjusted, Breland said.
In other business, aldermen unanimously approved a measure that will allow Sterlington to begin pursuing low-interest state loans to help upgrade its water treatment facility.
Sterlington town engineer Tom Holtzclaw presented aldermen with a pre-application letter to the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Holtzclaw said any money received could be used to offset the cost of increasing capacity at the wastewater treatment plant.
Current plans call for a facility to handle 375,000 gallons of wastewater a day.
However, Breland has said he wants to explore increasing that capacity to as high as one million gallons per day in anticipation of growth in the region.
On another front, aldermen delayed action on an ordinance to revoke annexation of part of La. 557 because the town had not advertised the ordinance soon enough to be acted on at Tuesday's meeting.
Town attorney Katie Balsamo said the board of aldermen would have to postpone act on the matter until its next regular meeting. In the meantime, the proposed ordinance will be published in the town's Official Journal, which is The Ouachita Citizen.