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Drainage improvements planned in Livingston Parish

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DENHAM SPRINGS - Drainage improvements are planned throughout Livingston Parish to combat flash flooding concerns.

The city of Denham Springs has crews working on many drainage systems on city-maintained roads. The Department of Transportation and Development is responsible for maintaining the catch basins, storm drains and pipes on state-owned roads..

The DOTD issued an emergency contract that began Friday. Before the emergency contract, the DOTD only house six pump trucks used to clear catch basins of debris, and only five operating ones currently.

"In terms of our regular operations, if you can imagine, we have 345 drains in Livingston alone, and we only have 5 trucks in the entire state of Louisiana." DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said.

Livingston Parish residents said they saw heavy rain bring flooding to streets, neighborhoods, and even some of the schools, adding extra pressure on drainage systems.

"Whenever there's a rain, flood, there's leaves, plastic bottles, tree limps that get put into our drainage system and you have to manually pull them out with a vacuum truck." Wilson said.

Wilson noted that without the man-power and funds to help fix drainage problems, it is near impossible to maintain the capacity of drainage maintenance needed.

"It's part of our reoccurring maintenance responsibilities, unfortunately over the years we have not been able to keep up with the volume of equipment that's needed to complete the work," Wilson said.

The DOTD chose the emergency status to address those state-owned roadways and their drainage systems.

"We opted to take advantage of this emergency opportunity issue an emergency contract, to accelerate some of that cleaning given the realities of draining, flooding, water and challenges that occur on our system after such weather occasions." Said Wilson.

Along with catch basins, DOTD and the parish are replacing old pipes that move water from the street into drainage ditches or canals. The catch basin end of the drainage project is expected to be completed in Denham Springs by October 3rd.


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