Comite Diversion Canal

The Comite River Diversion Canal.

It’s often hard to tell what is too early, and such is the case with a study of the flood control for areas along the Amite River.  

Work has begun on studies on how to improve flood protection for the Amite and other streams and tributaries stretching from Livingston Parish down to Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes.

The project, implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will cost $3 million and is expected to end by mid-2021.

It seems logical to begin the plans, particularly when residents along the waterways endured devastating floods in 2016. 

The reason for the Amite River study hinges upon the same mindset that prompted the studies for the Comite River Diversion Canal after the 1983 flood, leading to official plans two years later.

Think about that for a second: 1985. Officials broke ground for the project in 2003, yet work is barely in the second phase.

The $243 million to complete the project fell into place less than a year ago, which has provided hope that completion will be a reality rather than another shattered dream.

But should the project have taken this long, particularly when a 2.65-mill property tax has been on the books since 2000 for completion of the project?

The population has grown immensely in all three parishes and the landscape has changed dramatically since the 1983 flood, the mapping by which engineers based the construction for the Comite project.

At the same time, we hope the focus will remain predominately on the completion of the Comite River Diversion Canal, rather than projects which have not yet been approved for funding.

It makes more sense to keep the focus and energy on completion of the Comite project before turning the focus elsewhere.

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