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Additional funding approved to clear Bayou Manchac

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Thursday, April 14 2022 Apr 14, 2022 April 14, 2022 7:14 PM April 14, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An emergency agenda item to approve more funds to clear Bayou Manchac was approved at Wednesday night's Metro Council meeting.

The council approved another $420,000 to complete the work up to the Iberville Parish line. The approved dollars comes from Carry Forward Funds.

The DRC Emergency Services contractor first started working in the bayou on the Ascension Parish side. Work began in East Baton Rouge Parish at the end of February. A barge with a large claw on top has been working every day except during heavy rain events to clear debris from the bayou.

EBR Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford said the amount of debris found in the bayou far exceeded their estimates.

"It's pretty severe," he said. "Until the water level dropped as low as it did—which was record level—you didn't know a lot of the material was underneath the water itself. It was blocking the flow, but it also caught more debris which created a dam-type situation."

When the project first began, the debris estimates were hard to determine since a lot of the material was underwater. Rough guesses were about 12,000 cubic yards. So far, about 20,000 cubic yards of debris have been removed from Bayou Manchac in East Baton Rouge Parish. That's enough to cover a football field and pile it about nine feet high. The additional funding will be used to complete the job in Baton Rouge, which could be another 2,500 cubic yards of debris.

"The amount of trees that had fallen on the East Baton Rouge Parish side was pretty phenomenal," Raiford said.

Ascension Parish spent about $2.3 million cleaning Bayou Manchac within its parish lines. The work was to remove debris caused by Hurricane Ida. The parish says it will be submitting the figures to FEMA for reimbursement.

The total project cost in East Baton Rouge Parish is about $1.9 million and primarily used American Rescue Plan Funds.

Raiford says there will be funds left over to keep moving west toward Iberville Parish.

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