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Parish officials seek study of Tangipahoa River

By LAUREN LANGLOIS staffwriter@hammondstar.com

Tangipahoa Parish officials are hoping a group of LSU students will study the Tangipahoa River to identify potential drainage improvement projects.

Kiley Bates, administrator of Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1, told the district's board Wednesday he has spoken with an LSU professor about using the professor's and his students' expertise for the study.

He said the proposal is still in the works and he plans to meet with the professor next week about the work it would involve.

The project would be done through parish government, so the council would consider approving it at a later date. The drainage district would help cover the cost of the study, he said.

The council recently signed off on the parish's Community Recovery Plan that was the result of input from FEMA consultants and the public and was in response to the historic 2016 floods. The long-term plan suggests projects to help the parish be more prepared when disaster strikes.

One high priority project it suggested was to create retention ponds along the river to control flow rate and reduce flooding.

This study by LSU engineering students would determine if something like retention ponds and other drainage ideas would work for the parish, Bates said.

Other business

The board approved drainage plans for phase II of the Island Trace Subdivision. According to engineer Clay Barrilleaux, of Barrilleaux & Associates, the development's 58 units constructed in the first phase are being sold to DSLD Homes. The second phase will have 74 units. The developing subdivision is located off Wadesboro Road south of La. 22, not far from the Interstate 55 service road.

Board members heard updates on current drainage projects. Fiscal year 2018's canal improvements project involves working on 69 miles of canals. About eight miles have been completed so far.

A second phase of canal improvements for this fiscal year will add another 45 miles of work.

Bids will be accepted in February for a project to stabilize the banks of Ponchatoula Creek in certain areas.

Members picked Parish Councilman Louis Joseph to serve as the drainage board's president and Parish Councilman Carlo Bruno to serve as vice president.