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Dredging efforts to continue on south side of False River after minor hiccup

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NEW ROADS – For the past couple of months, crews have been dredging the north side of False River. Silt has been filling up the lake making some spots only a foot deep. The project, that the state put aside $1.6 million for, is nearly complete. Though the parish president says it hasn't gone exactly as planned.

“They did run into some complications in the amount of storage area so it did take a little bit longer,” said Major Thibaut.

The dredging project is different than in years past. For the first time crews removed unwanted silt from the north side and transferred it to private land. The goal was to remove 95,000 cubic yards of sediment, but the space only allowed for 80,000 cubic yards.

At that point, Thibaut said they had two options. “Either cut the contract a little short and be 80 percent through and come back in future years, or do you have anywhere else? We absolutely have many places that need to be dredged in False River.”

Choosing the latter, for the next few weeks crews will be moving from the north end to the south end of the lake to finish dredging the remaining 15,000 cubic yards the project called for. It’s not the original plan, but Thibaut doesn't count it as a step back.

“It works out. You get thrown a curveball and you just figure out how to adjust. We get to take care of something this year that we were probably going to have to come back next year, or the year after and try and do."

The silt removed will be placed onto an existing island rather than on private land. When finished, Thibaut says there will be spots of False River that is still shallow. He says it'll be an ongoing process that will require more money to continue restoration efforts.

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