Funding solution: Officials to move forward with flood control project
BATON ROUGE - Local and state officials say they have found a solution to move forward on the East Baton Rouge Flood Risk Reduction Project.
Last year, $255 million in federal funding was secured from the Army Corps of Engineers. The project, which dates back decades, didn't receive funding until July 2018. The project was put on hold because neither the state nor the city-parish had been able to put up the local match of $65 million.
During a Wednesday press conference, Gov. John Bel Edwards committed $40 million in state funding over the life of the project to provide the needed nonfederal match for the project, which secures the overall federal funding for this critical infrastructure.
Local funding found! The plan to dredge and clean 5 major tributaries in EBR is moving forward. It’ll be completed in four years.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) August 7, 2019
The state will also share the cost with the parish of an approximate $25 million in additional local match that will be financed over several years, officials said in a release. Additionally, the city of Central is contributing $4 million to the project.
"Backwater flooding was a major factor for residents and businesses during the Great Flood of 2016," she said. "Our residents deserve relief from floods that seem to be happening more frequently. This is an important step to reducing the effects of future major floods in our community. I appreciate the leadership of Governor Edwards and Congressman Graves to help make this project a reality.”
The project will include upgrades to 66 miles of waterways in the parish critical to reducing flooding for residents and businesses. It includes clearing and snagging, widening, concrete lining and improvements to existing culverts and bridges to reduce flooding/backwater overflow in the Amite River Basin.
The work is scheduled to begin in February or March 2020.