DENHAM SPRINGS — Eden Church Road will continue to flood even after the parish deepens a ditch leading to Dixon Creek, an engineer said Tuesday.
Jason Harris, engineer for Livingston Parish Gravity Drainage District No. 1, said the consensus among state and parish officials was that work on the ditch will help remove water from the roadway, but it will not prevent flooding.
“It’s up for discussion as to the frequency and duration of the floods, but the road will still flood,” Harris told the drainage district board Tuesday night.
In an effort to alleviate flooding, the drainage district already has spent $16,000 clearing out two drainage laterals that carry water from Eden Church Road to Dixon Creek.
Now the state Department of Transportation and Development and Federal Highway Administration are asking the parish to clean out the north lateral by another foot or more, Harris said.
The parish needs the work done in order to recoup $945,000 from FHWA on the $2.2 million road project. The drainage district board voted Oct. 8 to do the work, but only if the parish pays for both the previous clearing of two feet along with the additional foot.
Drainage board member Chad Pope said Alvin Fairburn, owner of the engineering firm that designed the road project, has agreed to pay the $10,000 the additional work will cost.
“He said he’d be glad to put it in writing,” Pope said.
Pope suggested essentially writing off the original $16,000 because neither Fairburn nor the Parish Council agreed to pay it before the work was done. His motion was voted down 3-2.
“I don’t think we need to just fold up for the parish and just accept the $10,000,” board member Roy Zachary said.
The majority of board members agreed they should press the parish for payment on the invoice, which they said was delivered about a year ago.
The drainage board also will need approval from Recreation District No. 3 before they can widen the north drainage lateral to keep a 3-to-1 slope. The recreation district owns North Park, through which the lateral runs.
Eden Church Road has been a friction point between the Parish Council and Fairburn engineers since at least December, when moderate rainfalls led to extensive flooding and council members questioned whether the road had been designed properly.
Fairburn had assured the council that the project would improve conditions on the roadway, but an independent engineer later said the street would continue to flood because it was lowered 1.7 feet below the bank tops of Dixon Creek.