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March 21, 2024, University Lakes Project Update

Phase 1 implementation is well underway. Phase 1 includes:

  • Deepening City Park Lake and Lake Erie

  • Constructing a containment area for dredged material adjacent to the LSU Bird Sanctuary

  • Building “living shorelines” around City Park Lake and Lake Erie

  • Realigning and improving May Street between City Park and University Lakes

  • Making improvements to the weir structure at the outfall of University Lake

To date, the dredging contractor, Sevenson Environmental, has dredged approximately 130,000 cubic yards from City Park Lake, and placed over 10,000 cubic yards of fill material along its shoreline. Most of the dredged sediment has been pumped into geotextile tubes to construct the containment area in University Lake. Sevenson has also begun raking Lake Erie to remove stumps and debris in advance of dredging, and the weir structure at the outfall of University Lake is under construction. Once complete, the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge will have the ability to draw down the largest lakes, to improve water quality, and/or to create flood storage. Lastly, Sevenson Environmental has cleared overgrowth in the southeasternmost coves of University Lake, where the drought conditions of 2023 caused new and invasive plant growth from the dry lake bottom, and has begun capping and landscaping the island in University Lake that was constructed in the summer of 2022.

Phase 1 dredging is scheduled to be completed in July 2024. The new shorelines and containment area constructed from the dredged sediment will then be landscaped with native plant material. The bid for the landscaping installation will be advertised this summer.

The May Street improvements, also in Phase 1, are currently in the final stages of design and are expected to go to bid in June 2024. Construction will take approximately 18 months to complete.

Work in Phase 2A has also begun. Phase 2A is fully funded and includes deepening College Lake and the northern one-half (approximately) of University Lake, as well as constructing “living shorelines.” Sevenson has begun raking in University Lake and creating a geotextile tube alignment for a new section of the containment area, which will receive most of the spoil from Phase 2 dredging. Phase 2A dredging is expected to be completed in February 2025.

Finally, Phase 2B will include dredging and constructing “living shorelines” for the southern one-half of University Lake. Phase 2B is contingent upon state capital outlay funding, which has been requested for the 2024/25 fiscal year.


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