Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, joined by fellow University Lakes Project partners, announced yesterday that Phase 1 of the University Lakes Project is now fully funded.
Construction will begin this summer, led by Sevenson Environmental Services.
“The start of construction to restore the lakes is now just a few months away. This important and exciting initiative is the outcome of the early vision of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the more recent collaboration and funding of several community partners,” said Edwards.
“As we revitalize and enhance this much-beloved area of Baton Rouge, we will also reduce flood risk for surrounding areas and increase recreational amenities for the broad community.”
The first phase of the University Lakes Project includes water quality, flood risk reduction (dredging) efforts and mobility improvements addressing the key areas identified as critical by participants in the public engagement process.
The dredging will allow City Park, Erie, College, Crest and Campus Lakes to be deepened, as well as a portion of University Lake.
Major elements of Phase 1 are:
- Dredge material will be used to create the foundation for living shorelines to help manage and clean stormwater before it enters the lakes;
- Weirs and control structures will be improved to increase the flood storage capacity that the lakes can provide;
- City Park and University Lakes will become hydraulically connected and a new May Street bridge constructed, which will allow paddlers and wildlife to move between the two largest lakes more freely;
- Key mobility improvements will include crucial safety adjustments to intersections and providing dedicated paths for pedestrians and cyclists in the areas where they are needed most.
Phase 1 completion is expected by December 2023 at a total cost of $32 million. Phase 2, dependent upon future funding, will deepen and reshape the remainder of University Lake.