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Dredging to start on LSU Lakes project in mid-August

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BATON ROUGE - Activity is picking up around the LSU lakes and dredging will soon begin to start the clean-up process. It's something we've seen for far too long, with green muck and the occasional fish kill covering the waters, but soon, people will be able to truly enjoy the lakes and the beauty they offer.

Construction equipment is already staged near the University Lake and phase one of the project will start in mid-August.

University Lake project partners got the go-ahead last month to finally start restoring the lakes. The first phase of the project will include dredging City Park and Erie Lakes. They'll also start the expansion of the LSU bird sanctuary in University Lake.

Senator Franklin Foil says it's taken a while to get the permits from the Corps of Engineers, but we'll start seeing activity within the next few weeks.

"Phase one, we're going to do a bridge between May Street and East Lakeshore off of Dalrymple and it's going to allow people to be able to use both City Park Lake and University Lake when they're in a boat and they go back and forth," said Senator Foil. "It's going to make it a safer place to walk, also."

It'll also bring improvements to May Street which crosses over University and City Park Lake. With that, we'll see a new bridge and bike paths. Once completed, phase two will follow shortly after, starting with dredging University Lake.

"We will also dredge that lake and improve the shore around it to make bike trails and make it more pedestrian-friendly and safe to walk around the lake," Foil said. "So it's important to keep the lakes fresh and healthy, to go and dredge the lakes periodically, and that's what we're going to do."

Senator Foil says taking care of these lakes is vital, especially to our wildlife, and hopes to see some relief soon.

"Well, it's as you can see, the lakes, unfortunately, have gotten into a deplorable condition because originally they were swamps and if you don't do anything to keep the lakes up, they're going to go back to the natural state and become swamps again," said Foil. "We'd like to make the lake an inviting place where people can actually go fish, go canoe and enjoy recreation around the lake. This will also help with flood control. That's part of the money that we're able to get to fund this project is going to flood control mitigation."

Phase one costs about $32 million and phase two is an additional $20 million. If everything stays on track, the Lakes Project should be completed in 2025.


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