OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has announced a new plan to restore Cheniere Lake.
The Department of Transportation has announced the new plan to restore Cheniere lake. Source: (KNOE)
After the bridge and spillway on Highway 3033 were damaged by the floods of March 2016, the DOTD originally looked into reconstruction. However, today they announced they plan to construct a brand new bridge and fixed-crest weir.
"This model allows us to pull small amounts of money from other funds used for drainage to do the fixed-crest weir," said Dr. Shawn Wilson of the DOTD. "It's a different structure providing the same services, and it's not going to require us to rebuild the dam, which is owned by the parish."
Some members of the community are frustrated by the slow progress. After the spillway was damaged, the water levels of the lake were lowered to accommodate repairs.
The community has eagerly awaited the day the lake would return to its former glory.
"It's obvious that not having water in the lake is affecting landowners, potential fisherman, and people who have fished in the lake for years," said Cheniere Lake Advisory Committee member Don Plunk. "All of that is a concern to the community and to people that love Cheniere lake."
While officials say that it's still too early to tell how long repairs will take, they hope to return both normalcy to both the lake and community as soon as possible.
"We've been able to figure out a way to do it more affordably, more efficiently with a date certain for awarding it with construction. That we've not had before," said Wilson.