Police jury taps engineers for long-awaited drainage project

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish Police Jury on Monday selected the engineering service for a multi-million drainage project a long time in the making.

Four different firms submitted proposals for the Brushy Bayou drainage project, which were evaluated and scored based on each firm’s ability to demonstrate quality and timeliness, experience with similar projects, experience working with the police jury and personnel qualifications.

Bryant Hammett & Associates LLC received the highest score of the four firms, and the police jury unanimously voted to award the firm the contract.

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Bryant Hammett received a raw score of 74 and a weighted score of 18.5.

The three other proposals scored as follows: Jordan Kaiser & Sessions received a raw score of 54 and a weighted score of 13.5; H. Davis Cole & Associates LLC received a raw score of 55 and a weighted score of 13.75; and Neel-Schaffer Inc received a raw score of 65 and a weighted score of 16.25.

The parish received a $6.2 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund the project which is designed to alleviate flooding parish-wide by diverting stormwater into the Tensas River through Brushy Bayou, away from Cocodrie Bayou.

The Brushy Bayou drainage project was one of the last approved by FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The work may be finished around June of 2024.

Engineers predict it would reduce flooding in approximately 40 percent of the northern drainage area of the parish and lower the Vidaia Canal by approximately two feet.

A weir will be installed to help maintain Brushy Bayou water levels at approximately 43 feet and a new bridge on Luke Martin Road will replace undersized culverts to increase flow.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting, the police jury held a public hearing to abandon Como Extension Road so that the parish would no longer be responsible for road maintenance. No comments were made from the audience and the board voted unanimously in favor of abandoning the road.

“I talked to both landowners and they’re OK with it,” District 5B Police Juror Brad Adams said.

The police jury is requesting $500,000 in additional funds from the Delta Regional Authority to fund the renovation of the Concordia Parish Sewer District treatment facility in Ridgecrest, as it appears the project would be half a million over budget.

If approved, the parish would receive $900,000 total matching funds from the DRA to complete the now $2.5 million upgrade to the treatment facility with another $1.2 million previously awarded from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for the 2022 fiscal year.

“It’s in dire need of some work,” police jury president Collin Edwards said of the treatment plant in Ridgecrest.

The police jury also unanimously approved board appointments for Trinity Medical and the Concordia Parish Sewer Board.

Mike Jones joins the sewer board and Rowena Cherie, Russell Lipsey, and Ryan Crum were reappointed to another term as board members for Trinity Medical.