ATVs on gravel roads costing thousands worth of damage in Ouachita Parish

ATVs on gravel roads costing thousands worth of damage in Ouachita Parish
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:39 AM CDT
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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Ouachita Parish officials say children are joyriding on gravel roads, and it’s costing the parish thousands of dollars worth of damages.

Ouachita Parish Police Jury Vice President Jack Clampit says the upkeep of these gravel roads can get intense. According to Clampit, the parish has 40 miles of gravel roads, and only one motor grader is available to maintain them.

“So, by the time I get a motor grader out here, buy gravel, we’re out about a thousand dollars,” says Clampit.

Clampit says the main issue right now is children going joyriding and spinning on roads like Frank Wink Road, taking the gravel off. Clampit says the parish wants the children to enjoy their ATVs, but they’re warning against riding too roughly, especially after it rains. Damages on gravel roads could put nearby residents in danger if riders aren’t careful.

“We need for emergency vehicles to cut through; we need the fire trucks to get down; we need the ambulance to get down, so we really have to keep it up, but we have to make sure these kids don’t tear it up,” says Clampit.

General Manager Mike Lary of Bayou PowerSports in Monroe named some common options for ATV riders to use other than a gravel road.

“We have all types of off-road parks, wildlife management areas, and the majority of people that are buying ATVs are buying them for hunting or working around their property,” says Lary.

Public Information Officer Glenn Springfield of the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office says parents can receive citations if children are caught riding too harshly on gravel roads.