Logs pulled from LSU lakes project to be sold at auction
BATON ROUGE - Weeks into the LSU lakes project, crews continue to pull out old leaves, branches, and something worth a lot of money from the water and mud below.
This week, excavators are floating on City Park Lake pulling out sediment and debris. Some of that could be worth millions. Across the street, Project Manager Mark Goodson says the work has hit somewhat of a snag.
"There were some challenges initially with the low water," said Goodson.
The water wasn't removed from the lake, so with little rain, it evaporated.
"We need more rain and more water to finish the dredging like we planned to originally," he said.
Even though more rain is needed to swell the lake and continue work, there has been significant progress. Goodson reports that about 17,000 cubic yards of sediment has been removed so far. Crews have been raking City Park Lake to remove the stumps and debris and coming behind that with two dredges. The sediment is pumped to a containment area off of the LSU Bird Sanctuary in University lake.
With some of the work behind them, Goodson says he gets asked frequently about the most interesting thing pulled from the water so far.
"Nothing very exciting, just logs and stumps," he said.
Some people might find that exciting. If you have been through the area you might have seen those logs and stumps piled high near May Street and Dalrymple Drive. The little pieces will be chipped up and made into mulch. The bigger logs will be used within the project and what's left over sold at auction.
"Some of it is sinker cypress, I'm not an expert but the wood gets preserved for being under water for so long so It's good material to use," said Goodson.
The preserved wood is worth quite a bit. The last time the lakes were dredged in the 1980s, the contractor kept what he found. That contractor milled it, sold it, and made a nice chunk of change. This time around legislation prevents that from happening.
"Any sinker cypress or material of value that we pull from the lakes has to be sold at public auction and the proceeds reinvested in the project," said Goodson.
The proceeds will be reinvested in things like building bike and walking paths, landscaping, and lighting. It's why each log pulled from the muddy water is kept safe for a different day.
No auction date for the sinker cypress has been set.