Broome aims to eliminate “choke point” that backs up Ward Creek

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:56 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced on Tuesday, July 13, plans to eliminate a “choke point” along Ward Creek.

Ward Creek narrows as the bank bows out when it crosses under Siegen Lane. Broome said the parish secured $1.8 million in federal funds to widen the canal 40 feet to match the widths on either side of the road. The project is expected to allow floodwaters to freely flow downstream, reducing flood risks by up to two feet in neighborhoods like Morning Glen and Audubon Terrace.

“We will probably have at least a two-foot reduction in flood levels upstream,” said Frain Raiford, director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Transportation and Drainage Dept. “Is that significant? You better believe it, particularly for the people who have faced flooding before.”

The project was initially set in motion back in 2018 after modeling indicated that eliminating the “choke point” would significantly reduce flooding risks. Raiford added progress has been slow as the parish has had to navigate the legal red tape of federal funding for flood projects.

According to the parish, the contractor will be approved during the next Metro Council meeting. Once approved, planning and design will take place. Dirt is not expected to be moved until late 2022. The project is expected to wrap up six to eight months after work begins.

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