BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Public Works crews are working through a backlog of 3,300 service requests for drainage issues across the parish.
Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill said he expects crews will be able to work through the claims by the end of the year. He said DPW is down nearly 30% of its workforce, the equivalent of about 10 crews, so progress is slow. He said that is not an excuse though, adding crews will work through the claims as quickly as possible.
“I think it’s safe to say we all have a general concern about the maintenance of canals in ditches in the parish,” said Mayor Pro Temp Lamont Cole during Wednesday’s Metro Council meeting. “I think you go throughout the parish and you will find ditches that particularly have not been maintained at a level that is acceptable in terms of residents that live in those areas. So I think it’s important the grass is mowed, herbicides spread but in addition to that the leftover vegetation is cleaned out.”
Metro Council addressed drainage concerns during its meeting Wednesday evening. Council approved more money to help kill the Johnson grass in the ditches.
The parish is currently in the early phases of completing its drainage masterplan. It aims to improve drainage throughout the parish, targeting areas that are especially flood-prone. It is in the midst of a plan to clear and widen 66 miles of major drainage ways throughout the parish. That is expected to be wrapped up in 2023.
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