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Crews on Amite River clearing decades of debris

3 months 2 days 16 hours ago Tuesday, February 20 2024 Feb 20, 2024 February 20, 2024 8:11 PM February 20, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Work to clean out waterways in the Baton Rouge area continues. Crews are currently on the Amite River pulling out decades of debris that has piled up.

"We're working all the way from East Feliciana down to Ascension Parish," Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford said.

Since the start of the project, the contractor has removed about 6,400 cubic yards of material. The debris from the parish project is being taken to a burn aid in Livingston Parish. The project is a large one since there's so much infrastructure that drains into the Amite River.

East Baton Rouge Parish pulled more than 7,800 tons of debris from the Comite River last year. While that portion of the project is complete, Raiford says he would like to do work north of Highway 64. The Comite River winds down from Mississippi through East Feliciana Parish. East Feliciana has applied for a grant to do the clearing and snagging there. The grant worth about $27 million has been given conditional approval. That work would be done in two phases, starting north of Highway 10 and then south of Highway 10. The funds would tackle about 56 miles of river.

Raiford who is also on the Amite River Basin Commission says East Feliciana is waiting on funding to start the work.

"In the next two to three months we should be getting contracts together," he said.

The amount of debris pulled from East Baton Rouge waterways is astounding. Bayou Fountain, Jones Creek, Claycut Bayou, and Elbow Bayou have been addressed. The parish is currently working through Dawson Creek with the help of American Rescue Plan dollars. The Army Corps of Engineers is clearing and snagging Ward Creek.

The Amite River cleanup is about 25 percent finished. Federal dollars are helping clear the portion of the river in Livingston Parish.

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