University Lakes Project to resume in September

The University Lakes Project is slated to resume in September, restarting progress to rehabilitate the six lakes surrounding the LSU campus: City Park Lake, Erie Lake, College Lake, Campus Lake, University Lake, and Crest Lake.

The University Lakes Project is a major contributor to stimulating and supporting the economic growth of Baton Rouge and providing local jobs, Louisiana State University said in their release.

A coalition of state, local and university officials was formed in fall 2019 to restore the lakes.

Partners include the State of Louisiana, the City of Baton Rouge, BREC, LSU and the LSU Athletics Department, and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

The LSU Real Estate and Facilities Foundation, an affiliate of the LSU Foundation, is issuing the contracts and will oversee work that includes dredging all six lakes, building a bridge at May Street, and building sidewalks and bike paths around the lakes.

In January 2020, LSU REFF selected a joint venture of Brailsford & Dunlavey and CSRS as the project advisor for the University Lakes Project. Progress was temporarily suspended in spring 2020 while partners prioritized maintaining the health and wellness of the community during the pandemic.

In response to the evolving impact of COVID-19, the initiative will occur in phases.

“Funding is in place to move forward with Phase I, the scope of which includes due diligence and design efforts for all six lakes that will commence by the end of 2020,” LSU said.

Project partners are finalizing cooperative endeavor agreements to present to both the Metro Council and the BREC Commission at their upcoming September meetings.

A grant agreement will be executed with the Louisiana Division of Administration Office of Community Development for Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds to support the next phase of work. A Request for Proposals for the due diligence and design work will be issued shortly thereafter.

Upon completion of the design phase, the initial phase of construction will begin, on schedule to start in fall 2021. It will include deepening and reshaping City Park, Erie, Campus and College Lakes as well as pedestrian and bicycle path improvements around City Park and Campus Lakes.

Photo: CSRS