Photo: Bossier Sheriff's Office

An asphalt overlay project that's been planned for three years along a section of Caplis Sligo Road is expected to get underway in a couple of weeks.

Bossier Parish Engineer Butch Ford told KEEL News the last mile of the roadway, from the Flat River Bridge to Hwy 71 (Barksdale Boulevard) West, is getting a two-inch overlay.

"We're also going to make some improvements there at the intersection of Hwy 71, now that we have Caplis Sligo as a detour route for the Sligo Road Bridge closure from the state," Ford said. "We met with the state out there last week, and we're going to try to make some room on the north side so that right-turn folks can just keep free-flowing out while somebody's trying to turn left."

The project is being done because DOTD designated Caplis Sligo Road as the detour route while the Sligo Road Bridge over Red Chute Bayou is closed for replacement or repairs. Crews are waiting for the water to go down enough for them to see exactly what needs to be done to the bridge.

An engineering firm conducted a traffic count along Caplis Sligo and determined that 3,700 cars move through that area each day. Ford said he's gotten some calls from residents concerned about speeders and additional traffic, so the agency has asked the sheriff's office to patrol there frequently to make sure everyone slows down.

Ford said once the work begins, it will be done after the morning rush and wrap up before evening drive time.

"During the day, we'll have lane closures. We'll be laying asphalt. We'll have equipment out there, we'll have dump trucks with asphalt in them," he said. "And we'll have flagmen on each end of the operation, and we'll be flagging traffic around our operation. So you may have a few minutes' delay while we're completing some work."

Ford reminds motorists there is an unsignaled railroad crossing in that area, so make sure you stop and look both ways before you cross the tracks.

"We met with DOTD last week, and all of our emergency responders," Ford said. "We're looking at what improvements we can make either on 71 or at the intersection to improve the situation. This was just thrown at us, so we want to be proactive and not reactive."

Once the project gets underway, it's expected to take about three weeks to finish -- as long as the weather cooperates.