DOTD, State Representatives discuss Cheniere spillway plans, talks with public

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WEST MONROE, LA (7/8/19) New money is helping to get the water flowing on a project years in the making.

The Cheniere spillway has stood the test of time, enduring the elements for almost 70 years.

The nearly four million dollar project can now get going, with the new plan separating the bridge from the spillway.

The Department of Transportation and Development will now be able to match monies given by the state, which has allowed to get things going. This should not cost the parish anything.

“Currently we have our project design construction plans underway for the replacement of this existing bridge and a modified condition which separates the spillway from the bridge structure on LA 3033. The new bridge will remain in existence and the existing alignment, and the new spillway will be a fixed crest weir offset from the bridge structure.” says Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary of The Department of Transportation and Development.

Not only does the updated plan lower the overall cost from the original, the timeline of completion is also expected to be shorter, weather permitting.

“All of us are concerned about the time that the bridge may be down. and this new design will shorten from the original one by about 12 months at least” says Louisiana Republican Senator James R. Fannin.

This allowed some residents to breath a sigh of relief, at least somewhat. While the future of the project looks encouraging, there are still some short term issues surrounding it.

Residents are concerned that the project will mess with the water levels of the lake and potentially negatively effect the environment.

Vice President of the Ouachita Parish Police Jury Jack Clampit also says that adding the gates could erode the current set up, which would end up costing the parish money.

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