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At least two more years of work left on the Comite River Diversion Canal
BATON ROUGE - We have been waiting decades for the construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal to ease flooding issues during hurricanes and torrential rain situations.
The canal will take water from the Comite River and redirect it west, between Zachary and Baker, dumping it into the Mississippi.
On Tuesday, the Comite River Diversion Canal Project Task Force met at the capitol.
"I'm happy to report that the majority of the project is complete, or under construction. Over half of the channel segments have been excavated," Col. Cullen Jones with the Army Corps of Engineers said.
There was not an exact date as to when it will be all complete, but an update is pointing toward 2025.
"I've been in my house 45 years. To think if it rains again, I have to give it up, it breaks my heart," resident Bob Burns said to the committee.
DOTD says they can start construction on the three remaining bridges when all power lines are moved.
"Between these diversion structures is a 300-foot-wide and 50-foot-deep rocked lined diversion channel, which is moving the same equivalent of the Arkansas River during peak stages," Jones said.
USACE says it will be done with several of its projects by May.
There were a few concerns from the committee, one of them being what will make the construction companies stay on task since one of the major ones is involved in several projects. DOTD responded by saying they are under a contract. If they violate the agreements, it will cost them.
Another concern was whether or not congress would be needing to fork over more money. Officials told the committee they couldn't say at this time.
The project was first discussed more than three decades ago. Read about the history here.
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