Frequently Asked Questions
When will construction begin?
Phase 1, including dredging of City Park, Erie, Campus and College Lakes, is anticipated to begin during the winter of 2021-22, following completion of the design process. We are optimistic that additional funding will be secured to allow work to immediately shift to University Lake upon completion of Phase 1.
How long will construction take?
Once construction begins (anticipated winter 2021-22) the dredging and reshaping of all six lakes is expected to take two years. Phase 1 work includes City Park, Erie, Campus and College Lakes. Phase 2 will include University Lake and Lake Crest. If funding for Phase 2 is secured prior to the completion of Phase 1, dredging University Lake and Lake Crest would take an additional 18 months.
How will the construction impact the residents in the area and the users of the lakes?
Dredging and construction of lakeshore improvements will be phased in sections around the lakes to minimize inconveniences to recreational users and residents. The implementation plan will be developed after the completion of the final design, which is scheduled for fall 2021. Public input will influence both the final design and the scheduling and implementation plan for construction. This website will be refreshed regularly with details about public engagement opportunities
I live by the lakes. Is this going to smell?
Freshly turned earth at construction sites always has a unique odor, and sediments dredged from the lakes and deposited along the shores will likely have an odor for periods of time throughout the project. Efforts will be made in the design and construction process to work quickly in phases and to speed the covering of exposed soil with vegetation, which will control erosion and help to encapsulate the soil, thus containing odors. Environmental factors such as heat and rainfall will affect the oxidation of organics contained in the sediments, which are typically responsible for most soil odors. This topic will be discussed in greater detail at public open house events and as more detailed plans are developed
How can I be involved in the project?
We are excited to welcome your involvement! We invite you provide your comments and share memories of visits to the lakes online using the map-based survey and a storyboard where you can post photos and memories of your visits. A virtual public open house is being scheduled within the coming weeks, and each of the three steps of the design process will involve a round of public open house events. As of May 2021, the project team is just beginning the process of refining the 2016 Baton Rouge Lakes Master Plan into a more detailed schematic design, so there are no final plans yet. Every idea is appreciated and will be considered.
Follow our progress on social media at @LakesProject on Twitter and at #UniversityLakesProject on Facebook and Instagram. On LinkedIn we're at University-Lakes-Project. Join us in sharing Lakes Project news using the hashtag #LakesProject.
Will I still be able to run or bike around the lakes?
Yes. Although temporary closures of traffic lanes in certain areas may be necessary, every effort will be made to mitigate these inconveniences, to provide alternative safe routes, and to limit the extent and duration of closures.
Will I be able to kayak or paddle my canoe or paddleboard during construction?
Yes. Dredging of the lakes will occur in phases, and if one area is closed to water-based activities, another lake will be open for such recreational uses. When construction activity occurs in the vicinity of BREC’s Milford Wampold Memorial Park on Stanford Drive, this will present an inconvenience to recreational users. Efforts will be made to expedite the speed of work in this area and to compress the duration. A healthier lake system and natural environment will be our reward for these short-term inconveniences.
How will the construction impact the pelicans and other wildlife?
In the short term, construction activity will temporarily displace wildlife. Yet if we do not restore the lakes, they will silt-up, eliminating availability of fish and other food sources for our beloved American White Pelicans and other wildlife to eat. The long-term reward for temporary displacement will be ensured viability and health of the aquatic and shoreline environment, and improved areas from which to observe wildlife.