Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment reviews public works projects

Michael Tortorich

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment recently provided details on last year’s public works projects, and looked ahead through 2021.

Ascension Parish public works employees on the waterway management crew clear debris and other obstacles from parish waterways. Parish President Clint Cointment displayed these photos during an update on recent projects.

In a report broadcast via Ascension21, he began with the Wallace Acres drainage improvements.

The subdivision, built in the 1970s, needed upgrades to its driveway and roadway culverts. Work was done by December.

On the northern end of the parish, the Muddy Creek drainage improvement project was undertaken in an effort to reduce the flood risk from runoff of rain in the upstream area, reduce the flood zone and ensure property access, and reduce obstruction of flow. The project was done by the in-house DPW staff.

The Fish and Frog Bayou control structure and drainage improvements project has all necessary right-of-way and servitudes obtained. It is projected to begin in the early months of 2021.

Cointment thanked Jim Ragland and Frank Bonifay for assisting in obtaining right-of-way signatures for the project.

The New River Channel improvements are pending bid award, and are set to move forward with construction and dredging this year.

Laurel Ridge extension project has been going on for decades, Cointment said. He hopes to “start turning dirt” this year  in order to protect the eastern side of the parish along the Amite River.

One project he said citizens do not get to see is the Bayou Henderson lateral shredding project. He showed photos of excavators traveling into the channel and shredding vegetation.

Additional projects include: Charlotte Avenue culvert size upgrade, Deck Boulevard culvert upgrade and adjustment of three box culverts, St. Andrews Court/Belle Grove outfall lateral shredding and ditch digging, Oak Grove Parkway installation of four box culverts, Tracy Street replacement of culverts to outfall to Black Bayou, Country Ridge lateral digging, and many other metal culvert replacements and sinkhole repairs.

At the Marvin J. Braud Pumping Station, gearbox No. 5 was repaired. Construction is set for this year on surge protection at the station.

A new camera system will be able to show the public scenes from the Marvin Braud, Sorrento, and Henderson pumping stations.

Cointment said “it’s not a simple flipping of the switch” to turn on the pumps. With the cameras, the public will get a glimpse of the workings of the station.

A grant project will upgrade the Sorrento pump station for better efficiency and reliable operation. Preconstruction work is set to begin in early 2021. Advertising for bids will be toward the end of the year.

In 2020, a waterway management crew was established. Duties include: log removal, vegetation remove and spraying, bulk item removal, and bank maintenance.

The crew has been tasked with removing any obstacles in waterways, such as logs, boats, and debris.

Ascension Parish has five projects submitted for the Louisiana Watershed Initiative. Multiple consultants are working on the cost-of-benefit and application details. Projects will provide localized flood reduction assistance throughout the parish.

Cointment concluded the report by thanking all of the DPW employees for their efforts throughout the trying year.