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Work begins on $20 million drainage plan in East Baton Rouge; leaders say it is just the beginning

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After years of complaining East Baton Rouge Parish leaders were not doing enough about flooding, DPW crews started work on a $20 million drainage project approved by Metro Council on Wednesday, June 23.

After years of complaining East Baton Rouge Parish leaders were not doing enough about...
After years of complaining East Baton Rouge Parish leaders were not doing enough about flooding, DPW crews started work on a $20 million drainage project approved by Metro Council Wednesday night.(WAFB)

The plan targets more than 2,400 storm drains to be cleaned of sediment and debris. A spokesman with the Mayor-President’s office said those which are more than 75% clogged will take top priority. The plan also focuses on fixing 1,100 caved in pipes, plus clearing and grubbing vegetation from ditches and canals across the parish. All work, according to the parish, is expected to continue through the summer.

“Our hope is by getting them clean, getting the sediment out of them, the water will drain faster and with light rains water won’t accumulate and create any issues for the residents here,” said Kelvin Hill, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for EBR.

This project is meant to compliment another project set to begin in the fall. The $350 million Flood Risk Mitigation project targets the five main tributaries that drain most of the water from EBR: Wards Creek, Jones Creek, Bayou Fountain, Beaver Bayou, and Blackwater Bayou. Those would be cleared, widened, and “enhanced.” According to a parish spokesman, 75% of the parish’s water drains through these.

“When we are done we are going to be confidant our system drains the way it is supposed to,” Hill said.

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