June 27, 2022
Pending permit approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected soon, restoration work will then begin in University Lake near the intersection of East Lakeshore Drive and Stanford Avenue. As the equipment is being staged during this advance work phase, the project contractor will test means and methods for dredging and placement of sediment in the bottom of the lakes system and the design team will observe these tests, ultimately informing the path forward for full implementation of the restoration and revitalization project.
On April 25, Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, LSU President William F. Tate IV and fellow University Lakes Project partners announced full funding – $32 million – and plans for Phase 1 of this project. This initial phase of work will consist of dredging, improving weirs and control structures and key mobility improvements. The project team anticipates completing Phase 1 by December 2023. Ultimately, the work will both help increase the area’s competitiveness for economic development, and greatly enhance the LSU footprint.
“This is an exciting moment for our state and the capital region as we begin a robust schedule of work to restore the iconic University Lakes in Baton Rouge,” said Gov. Edwards. “Together with the support of our community partners, we will enhance a beautiful and beloved feature of our capital city while reducing flood risk for the surrounding areas.”
Mayor Broome said, “I remain enthusiastic about the importance and impact of the improvements to our University Lakes system. Residents of every age will benefit, and the thoughtful enhancements will broaden access to outstanding outdoor spaces for recreation and leisure.”
“The University Lakes represent an iconic part of our campus community and a valued place for the community to connect and engage in healthy practices such as running, biking and walking,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “The start of this restoration constitutes a major step, and we look forward to continued collaboration with our partners to bring the full project vision to life.”
This summer, as part of testing dredging and placement of sediment, a portion of University Lake will be dredged to various depths and the sediment will be used to build an island in the lake. Heavy equipment and barges are currently on-site.
The coalition that was formed to restore the lakes includes the State of Louisiana, the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge, BREC, LSU and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The University Lakes Project is being implemented by University Lakes, LLC, which was established by the LSU Real Estate and Facilities Foundation, an affiliate of the LSU Foundation.
For more information about the University Lakes Project, please visit universitylakesproject.org or the project’s social media pages: @UniversityLakesProject on Facebook and Instagram and @LakesProject on Twitter.