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Bridge construction for Comite River Diversion Canal begins this summer

DOTD will begin working in the Zachary and Baker areas to start building bridges that will coincide with the Comite River Diversion Canal.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - DOTD will begin working in the Zachary and Baker areas to start building bridges that will coincide with the Comite River Diversion Canal.

James Davis and Mike Anderson are like many others who have been patiently waiting for construction on the Comite River Canal to begin in the lower Zachary area.

“Everything that has taken place with the construction, that’s starting off there like Plank Road coming back to West McHugh Road, and then, of course, they are starting to get everything geared toward Hwy 19 section of it,” said Mike Anderson, who works in Zachary.

Off Plank Road, a large portion of brush has already been cleared. This summer, folks can expect to see more construction. The Department of Transportation and Development is responsible for building new bridges for the Comite River Diversion Canal. DOTD plans to build one bridge on LA 67, two bridges on LA 19, and another bridge on LA 964. This is just one part of the $353 million in projects.

“I hope the engineers have done their homework, and I hope everything does work,” added Anderson.

Talks about the Comite River Diversion Canal started back in the 80s, and after the flood of 2016, residents pushed for more solutions to the Capital Region’s flooding problem.

“When you have people living in low-lying areas around here, every time we have a storm coming in that is expected to dump 10 or 12 inches of rain, these people start getting their stuff together, literally, picking furniture up, making plans to leave cars in a high area,” explained Anderson.

The 12-mile drain is expected to help with flooding issues but some folks in the lower Zachary area worry the new construction will bring more traffic problems.

“Well, it’s going to be a lot of congestion because there will be so many people working on it, in and out,” said James Davis, who lives in Zachary. “It’s going to impact our roads and our transportation in Zachary.”

DOTD said there are no plans for road closures but there will be detour routes until the bridges are complete. DOTD is expected to finish the bridges by the end of 2023.

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