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Jury to address Forest Hills flooding

Plans are in the works by the Bossier Parish Police Jury to address flooding concerns in the Forest Hills subdivision, a large subdivision located between U.S. 80 and I-20 in the Eastwood area.

Parish Engineer Butch Ford told the Police Jury last week there are two flooding concerns in the area. One problem involves three culverts that pass under I-20. Rainfall often carries debris to the culverts, partially blocking them, and causing water to back up. The second problem concerns the adequacy of water drainage in the subdivision, particularly heavy rainfall that exceeds that associated with a 25-year flood or worse.

After every large rainfall, crews are sent to check on the three culverts to remove debris blocking them, although the culverts are the responsibility of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Parish representatives are hoping to get DOTD to do a thorough cleaning of the culverts to allow better water flow.

To address overall drainage, the Police Jury plans to purchase approximately nine acres of land from subdivision developer Ed Kennon. The land consists primarily of a 1,600 foot drainage ditch.

Ford said that by purchasing the land, the parish can make permanent improvements to the drainage ditch to increase its capacity to handle runoff.

Improving the capacity of the drainage ditch will involve removal of approximately 25,000 yards of dirt, which Ford said would be placed on adjoining land owned by Kennon per an agreement with him. Placing the dirt there will save the parish the cost of having to transport it to a more distant location.

Officials said that without the agreement, the only other way to address the drainage would have been to install drainage pipes through the middle of the subdivision, which would have affected approximately 50 lots.

Purchase cost for the approximately nine acres of land is $49,500, which officials said is less expensive than alternative solutions.

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