East Ascension district  plans to clear two waterways

East Ascension drainage officials backed on Monday the first phase of a planned drainage improvement project on the Panama Canal and Bayou Conway.

Bill Roux, East Ascension drainage director, said Chem-Spray South Inc. of Gonzales will collect information on the waterways for a needed permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Roux told the East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1 Board of Commissioners that the firm would determine what debris is in the waterways, photograph and map the debris and determine locations where drainage equipment can get in the waterways and trash and debris can be removed.

The first phase is expected to cost not more than $16,500 and last 30 days, according to the contract.

The drainage district agreed last month to hire Chem-Spray to do the $1.5 million project, which will clear out the clogged bayous in the southern end of the parish.

The waterways drain the Darrow and Burnside areas and carry runoff to Blind River and surrounding swampland in St. James Parish.

Roux had said last month the project was likely to be broken up into phases to allow time for permitting.

He told the commission Monday parish consulting engineer GSA Consulting Engineers would use the information collected by Chem-Spray for the permit from the corps.

The commissioners backed the contract 6-0 with members Councilmen Kent Schexnaydre, Dempsey Lambert, Bryan Melancon and Travis Turner absent.