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In ongoing legal battle, judge says I-12 barriers contributed to 2016 flooding in Walker

4 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Thursday, June 04 2020 Jun 4, 2020 June 04, 2020 5:13 PM June 04, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

WALKER - A judge says concrete barriers built by state contractors along I-12 exacerbated flooding in part of Livingston Parish in 2016.

Court documents filed this week show Judge Richard "Chip" Moore ruled on several motions related to the City of Walker's class-action lawsuit against the state. Among them was an attempt by the state to throw out an argument alleging negligence on the part of DOTD and contractors involved with the project, which Moore denied.

The judge said barriers running between the east and westbound lanes of I-12 "artificially raised the level of the flood," and the placement of those barriers did not take into consideration past flooding or how the "solid wall" would affect future flooding.

"Just like placing garbage on an adjoining private property, there was no requirement, nor was it necessary, that the median barrier be designed and constructed as a solid wall," the judge said in response to the motion.

The city first filed the lawsuit, naming the state, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and its contractors as defendants, back in 2017. Walker officials allege the 19-mile median barrier extending from East Baton Rouge Parish to Livingston Parish interrupted the "natural flow" of flood waters.

Attorneys representing Walker also demanded that the state "correct" the design of the barriers to prevent future disaster.

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