Ascension Parish starts New River Bayou dredging project
ASCENSION PARISH - Two major multi-million dollar drainage projects are underway for Ascension Parish.
The parish has hired contractors to dredge the New River Bayou starting at West Main Street.
The project will remove years of silt and debris build-up from the river.
"It's going to increase water flow, and not only help people in that area, but increase the capacity of people in south Prairieville as well as Geismar," Parish President Clint Cointment said.
"Unless you can see the road, I would advise not driving, because you can end up in the canal," resident Ellen Posey said.
She has lived near New River Road for half a century and says the flooding can get quite scary in her neighborhood.
"We just have a problem of being an island," Posey said.
The equipment is already in place. The project will also deepen the bayou to allow more water to flow to pumping stations. That water then should drain into Lake Maurepas.
"They will continue to the dredging from that point on to Gonzales to the weir behind Walmart," Cointment said.
Posey says this problem is one that's been around too long. In May, it took three days for floodwaters to drain from the roads.
"I think it's long overdue... maybe it would drain a little bit better and faster, and no one would be afraid of having flooding. I would think it would help the subdivision across the highway. They flood really bad," said Posey.
Besides the dredging, the parish will also add two flood gates. One will be in the New River Bayou. The other will be at Alligator Bayou near the Iberville Parish Line, allowing water to flow into Bayou Manchac and away from homes.
In the next few weeks, drivers can expect road closures when dredging begins on West Main street.
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