Plaquemine drainage study complete, proposed upgrades to cost $11 million

Staff Report

The drainage study ordered by the City of Plaquemine after torrential rains in 2021 is complete. It calls for a variety of drainage improvements to eight areas of the city, with a total price tag of $11.2 million.

Only the project to improve storm water flow in the Charles Street area is relatively inexpensive, at $27,600. All of the other improvement projects range from a low of $121,000 to a high of $7.5 million for the Marshall Street interceptor project.

The city had a vacuum truck contractor checking out problem culverts in July to make sure those culverts are clear as part of its pro-active hurricane season preparations. Mayor Ed Reeves, Jr. is shown (second from left) checking the work.

Mayor Edwin “Ed” Reeves, Jr. said the city presently does not have funds budgeted for these projects. He and the Board of Selectmen will consider projects they can add to the 2022-23 budget year (which begins in November). Reeves also has requested help from state and federal officials in finding grants that may be available to fund drainage projects.

This study was underway before Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. and the Iberville Parish Council completed two projects outside the city limits that are expected to greatly improve drainage in the southern portion of the city, which drains mostly to Price Street Canal. These projects included the widening of the canal that drains from Price Street Canal to the bayou, and installing an additional culvert to double the drainage behind Pecan Pointe Subdivision. The state also increased the size of the drainage culvert from the canal under Bayou Road to Bayou Plaquemine.

“The City thanks Parish President Ourso and the Parish Council for completing those two critical projects,” Reeves said. “We have already seen great improvement in drainage in the city during heavy rains from those projects.”

Following are the eight projects in the study that are being proposed in various areas of the city to address drainage problem areas:

  • North Plaquemine adjacent to La. Hwy. 1 - $488,520
  • Desobry Street - $121,388
  • Canal Street - $254,207
  • Hebert Street & High School Street - $189,836
  • Jean Street - $357,477
  • Charles Street - $27,600
  • Darby Avenue and Postell Avenue - $147,056
  • Holly Drive and Sherwood Drive - $760,437
  • Marshall Street interceptor - $7,549,750

The total for all projects (with engineering, survey, geotechnical and other fees is $11,250,000.

Reeves said he would recommend the city address the areas where potential home flooding is a possibility first, and then do other projects as funding becomes available.

“Unfortunately, the city doesn’t have the funds to make these improvements now, but the study is a working document that gives us the information we needed to make good decisions on improvements as we can in future years,” he said. “It is a balancing act to address the City’s needs for its drainage, sewer system, water system and other needs. Hopefully we will find some grant funds to help us address these needs.”