Congressman Graves discusses ongoing projects in Capital Region

United States Congressman Garret Graves was in Baton Rouge and spoke to the Rotary Club of Southeast BR to discuss some ongoing projects in our area.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - United States Congressman Garret Graves was in Baton Rouge and spoke to the Rotary Club of Southeast Baton Rouge on Wednesday, February 15, to discuss some ongoing projects in our area.

He discussed many topics including a new Mississippi River Bridge, progress on the Comite River Diversion Canal, and the Stormwater Fee fiasco.

“We’re making progress towards a (Mississippi River) bridge, I’m a little frustrated by how that’s gone down,” said Congressman Garret Graves (R), Sixth District of Louisiana.

He believes the three proposals are too far south to really provide any relief to I-10.

“I’m not saying we don’t need a bridge down in Plaquemine and St. Gabriel, but what I am saying, is that unless the solution provides relief to the I-10/I-12 corridor, then it’s not a solution,” said Congressman Graves.

Graves also gave an update on some major flood prevention projects including the Comite River Diversion Canal.

“And look, there’s been a lot of delays, they had three natural gas pipeline crossings, interstate pipeline crossings, high pressure,” he said.

The congressman says crews have removed about two million cubic yards of materials from the canal.

But the delays have certainly stalled progress for tens of thousands of concerned homeowners.

“We’ve been able to work with the company, the Corps of Engineers, the state highway department and others, and finally have this on a track to resolution. And we’ve already dealt with the first crossing, we’re dealing with the two others right now,” he said.

When it comes to the Storm Water Master Plan in East Baton Rouge Parish, Graves says parish leaders will need to be more resourceful with the hundreds of millions of dollars already set aside to address what he called ‘water quantity.’

“There was a lot of misinformation out there, and thankfully have bought more time to be able to have a more thoughtful effort on how to approach this, a more transparent effort on how to approach this,” said Graves.

He says he met with parish leaders on Friday to try and come up with a solution that doesn’t involve a fee for residents.

“About a different approach in how we cannot impose these big tax hikes on the citizens of this parish,” said Congressman Graves.

He also mentioned while he has not ruled out a run for Governor yet, he knows he has to make a decision soon.

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