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|PJ lowers Bayou D'Arbonne speed limit|
Boat traffic along a section of Bayou D'Arbonne will be required to follow a 5 mph speed limit thanks to a temporary emergency ordinance approved by the Ouachita Parish Police Jury Monday.
The 5 mph speed limit will be enforced by U.S. Wildlife and Fisheries along a one-mile section of Bayou D'Arbonne from the La. 143 bridge to the mouth of the bayou. Those caught violating the speed limit could be fined up to $500.
The police jury approved an identical measure in May after several Bayou D'Arbonne Drive residents petitioned the police jury to reduce the speed limit temporarily due to high water levels. Homeowners told police jurors at a meeting in May that boat traffic speeding through Bayou D'Arbonne increased the chances of erosion to their property.
Police juror Charles Jackson brought the measure before the police jury earlier this week at its regular meeting.
"It's on the upper edge of my district and it had flooding earlier this year," Jackson said. "With all the rain we've been having, the Ouachita River is expected to pass flood stage for the first time ever in October. So out of an abundance of caution we feel like it should be brought back tonight."
Parish attorney Jay Mitchell said the police jury has jurisdiction to limit speed along parish waterways when flooding situations exist.
"There is no speed limit currently," Mitchell said. "It's been done on a temporary basis in the past, and when the water dropped, the jury rescinded the ordinance."
He said the parish took similar measures during the 1991 flood.
The ordinance approved by the police jury this week was effective immediately. It will remain in effect until rescinded by the police jury, Mitchell said.