Residents worry about drainage on Eden Church Road

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Engineers have a warning for Livingston Parish leaders about a potential problem with a newly-constructed road.

The parish spent $2.2 million making Eden Church Road in Denham Springs safer, but another issue has surfaced.

When construction on Eden Church Road got underway, residents like Terry Woodworth could hardly wait for the highway to open.

"It was real bad when they were working on it. Even though it was closed down people were coming through and we had a mud rally going on out here," Woodworth said.

Eden Church was rebuilt with safety in mind. While authorities said they have seen an improvement, those who live nearby said they have noticed a new problem. The road is a lot lower.

According to a report by Burk-Kleinpeter Engineers, even after being cleaned and regraded, the drainage system can only handle 30 percent of the water being discharged through the pipes.

They also pointed out, the newly-constructed Eden Church Road is 1.7 feet below the high water elevation and was built 2.8 feet lower than the previous roadway.

Parish President Layton Ricks said the road, which was designed according to the state requirements, was built lower to support drainage. The water drains to Dixon Creek, which is located on the other side of the North Park recreational facility. Engineers warn when the creek is full, the road could flood.

"The chances of that happening are pretty good because we know eventually in a heavy 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 inch rain event, Dixon Creek is going to fill up," ricks said.

"Especially the curve down here. The water builds up there, and I know when we have a really hard rain I know it built up down here because the cars were almost stopped going through water," Woodworth said.

Ricks said he is also concerned.

"I wish it wasn't like that but it is. So we'll have to decide if we're just going to leave it alone or we're going to deal with it," Ricks said.

Ricks said the parish has two options, either dredge Dixon Creek or elevate the road. Both, he said, would come with hefty price tags.

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