$11 million drainage project connecting Chatlin Lake Canal to Red River in beginning stages
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Despite ongoing drainage projects currently underway in Alexandria, the heavy rainfall over the last few days still resulted in flooding in certain neighborhoods in the city.
The mayor announced during his August State of the Community update that several drainage projects have already been completed in flood-risk areas including Martin Park.
Mayor Hall said while more work needs to be done to address the drainage concerns, the recent projects helped lower the amount of water in the streets and in homeowner’s yards.
Currently, the city is in the beginning stages of an $11 million project that will create a drainage system from the Chatlin Lake Canal and connect it to the Red River. This time last year, Mayor Hall officially announced this project saying that the money will be used to build a Chatlin Lake Canal backwater outflow relief structure.
This would be a return to the way the water naturally flowed before the levee was put in place along the Red River. The mayor said it is conflicting because while the levee protects the city from the Red River, it also keeps the flood waters from getting to the river.
Mayor Hall called this project a “game-changer” that should reduce the risk of local flooding during rain events and natural disasters not only in Alexandria but in other parts of Rapides and Avoyelles Parish.
“We did much better on this episode than we have in the past as a result of the work that has been done and being done on the system,” said Mayor Hall on the drainage update following the recent rain. “A lot better results are going to take place. Once we are able to get that water diverted to the Red River, that’s underway right now, it would certainly help a lot of people in those typically regular flooding areas.”
The city administration confirmed that environmental studies are currently underway for the Chatlin Lake Canal backwater relief project. Once this step is complete, which is expected to take three years, construction will begin. In total, the project is projected to take five years to complete
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