Crews are expected to start clearing debris along a nearly two-mile stretch of the Kayouche Coulee drainage lateral from Interstate 210 to Chennault International Airport within the next one to two months, local officials said.
Calcasieu Parish police jurors on Thursday accepted a $325,032 bid by R.D. Spell Inc. for the work. A small barge goes down inside the lateral to clear anything that is blocking water from flowing.
“It’s a process, but it’s worth it in terms of maximizing the efficiency of the laterals,” Allen Wainwright, parish public works director, said on Friday.
The effort came about after gravity drainage district superintendents told parish staff about projects on major drainage laterals that needed attention but were hard to access. Other drainage laterals set to be cleared include the Bayou Arsene lateral in Hecker; Bear Head Creek in Starks; and the Buxton Creek lateral in the DeQuincy area.
“The district felt like it had some blockages we needed to get to,” Wainwright said. “It will make future access in the lateral easier.”
Along with fallen trees or logs blocking water flow, an old railroad trestle bridge had partially collapsed in the Kayouche Coulee lateral, Wainwright said.
“That’s the exact kind of obstruction of flow we’re trying to get out,” he said.
Wainwright said this work fills a gap while drainage laterals are being studied. Clearing the laterals doesn’t require digging or removing dirt, or obtaining rights-of way.
“All drainage work is very expensive,” he said. “In relative terms, these are really inexpensive projects compared to constructing things.”
Work on the Kayouche Coulee lateral is expected to take three to four months to finish, Wainwright said.