US 79 Overlay & Tree Removal

Project Details
State Proj. No.: H.013253
Start date:
September 2019

Finish date:
Summer 2020

Cost: $8.2 million
Contractor: Best Yet Buliders, LLC
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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development improved nearly seven miles of US 79 in west Caddo Parish through a patch, mill and overlay project.

The $8.2 million project was awarded to Best Yet Builders, LLC., and stretched from the US 80/US 79 intersection near Greenwood to the Texas state line at Bethany, LA. Work began in early September 2019.

The patch, mill and overlay also included stabilization for the roadway shoulders. Patching prior to the mill and overlay addresses more severely damaged portions and greatly prolongs the service life of the highway.

Additionally, the busy intersection of US 79 and US 80 - which services approximately 23,900 vehicles her day - received significant improvements in the form of concrete white topping. White topping is a method that uses a layer of concrete bonded to the asphalt underneath to form a more durable roadway surface in areas that experience heavy traffic volume.

Also as part of this project, approximately 70 trees that were in the state right-of-way 'clear zone' were removed. The clear zone is an unobstructed, traversable roadside area that allows a driver to stop safely, or regain control of a vehicle that has left the roadway.

A public meeting was held in January 2019 in the town of Greenwood to provide information to interested parties about the purpose and need for the removal of the trees, many of which had been identified as dead or dying.

These trees posed a safety hazard based on crash data. Over a 6-year period, 40% of the crashes on US 79 were recorded as roadway departures. Roadway departure type crashes account for over 60% of the highway fatalities in Louisiana.

Louisiana has identified roadway departure crashes as one of the major emphasis areas in the state's Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). Clear zone improvements - such as the removal of these trees - have been identified as infrastructure strategies that will reduce the potential for serious injury or fatality crashes.

The entire project was complete in Summer 2020.