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Island in middle of University Lakes provides glimpse of what's to come

1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, May 02 2024 May 2, 2024 May 02, 2024 5:48 PM May 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — The $70 million project to improve lakes between City Park and the LSU campus still has a long time to run, but amid all the muck and other debris there's a sliver of brightness.

Crews rehabilitating the area built an island in the middle of University Lake in 2022. They wanted to see what kind of materials might hold up over time, and what might erode away and clog the lake with silt.

Now the island is complete with landscaping using the same materials that will eventually be used along the shore at the University Lakes, which are jointly owned by LSU and the city-parish and operated by BREC, the parish park system. 

"It's... important for fish and bird habitat. It also helps with slowing down some of the sediment when it enters the lakes so that it doesn't get cast throughout the lake and make them shallow again," said Mark Goodson, the project's manager.

Phase I of the multi-year project involves dredging City Park Lake and Lake Erie, which are on the northern end of the lakes system. Phase II includes dredging the northern half of University Lake, and that work has already started while Phase I continues.

There will be improvements, too, along May Street, which crosses the lakes and connects Dalrymple Drive to East Lakeshore Drive and Morning Glory Avenue. 

"Stay tuned as we get closer to moving towards construction with May Street," Goodson said. "There will be some important announcements about what we'll be doing during construction. It's probably going to interrupt some people's travel plans so we'll be putting out that information as much in advance as we possibly can."

Phase I costs are expected to total about $35 million. Funding sources include LSU, the LSU Foundation, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, BREC, East Baton Rouge Parish and the state of Louisiana.

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