This month, East Baton Rouge Parish’s Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford updated GDCA on EBR’s work on drainage and how our neighborhood fits in to its larger plans.
A bit of orientation on drainage in the Garden District: Most of the Garden District, particularly Roseland Terrace and Drehr Place, drains towards Government Street which connects to Dawson Creek (the drainage canal that parallels Acadian Thruway) near Hearthstone Street by Catholic High School property. Other parts of the Garden District, predominantly Kleinert Terrace, also drain to Dawson Creek via Olive Street. Areas west of Park Boulevard generally drain west to Corporate Canal with the exception of areas closest to the park, which drain to the lakes.
Part of the identified problem for the Garden District and areas both upstream and immediately downstream is that the existing culverts on Dawson Creek at Broussard and Hundred Oaks Streets constrict flow. In heavy rain events water backs up and prevents the Garden District (the Government Street and the Olive Street outfalls) from draining. The city has identified funding opportunities to mitigate this issue in our area. Forte & Tablada, Inc. was selected by the parish to do the design work and prepare the plans for the improvements in our area.
However, these projects may increase the volume of water that is able to travel downstream at one time, meaning there can be negative downstream impacts. The city does not just want to relocate a flooding problem so the timeline is uncertain. The proposed project from Dawson Creek from the Hundred Oaks Street area to Kenilworth Boulevard, which will also provide relief to our neighborhood, is still seeking funding and in turn, has an uncertain timeline.
It is clear that drainage problems associated with the Broussard St. and Hundred Oaks Ave culverts on Dawson Creek play a significant role in our neighborhood’s drainage problems. Additionally, there are questions about system capacity within the Garden District as well – our local system is quite old and it is likely sections of it do not have the capacity for the kinds of high intensity storms that are an increasing part of our lives every spring and summer.
We are encouraged by EBR’s plans for the bridges. Additionally, the EBR Stormwater Master Plan will provide some clarity to the full picture of our neighborhood’s drainage situation. Defining our problems is the first step. We encourage all in the neighborhood to stay involved and continue to advocate for solutions.
If you are interested in these issues or would like to speak to EBR leadership about them, please join the EBR Stormwater Master Plan Virtual Public Meeting this Thursday, June 24, at 6:00 PM. Register at stormwater.brla.gov. You can also learn more about the Stormwater Master Plan by visiting the Virtual Open House.
Summary of Issues
What we know: Damming at Broussard St. and Hundred Oaks cause backups in our neighborhood. This is a problem on the entire reach of Dawson Creek.
What EBR plans to do: Replace the bridges (funding identified), but on an uncertain timeline.
Capacity on Government St. and Connections
What we know: There are potential capacity issues.
What EBR plans to do: The EBR Stormwater Master Plan’s findings will bring clarity to the issues and future project development is dependent on the completion of that effort.
Local Conveyance/Pipe Capacity
What we know: There are potential capacity issues in our existing stormwater drainage system. Some of the rain events we have had in the recent past have certainly exceeded local system capacity.
What EBR plans to do: The EBR Stormwater Masterplan’s findings will bring clarity to the issues and future project development is dependent on the completion of that effort. In the meantime the parish cleaned out the drain boxes and piping on Cherokee Street in March and has identified other locations in the Garden District that will be cleared when funding becomes available.
Learn more about the Dawson Creek Bridge Projects.