MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Officials are one step closer in restoring the Cheniere Spillway and bridge.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation announced a contractor issued a bid on the project for $9.4 million.
“Because we held the state to their promise, they made a promise to replace it for free, and we held them to them and now we’re getting it replaced where it won’t cost Ouachita Parish a dime,” said Jack Clampit.
The bridge and spillway were damaged by the floods of March 2016, and DOTD agreed to fully fund the project due to an original agreement to repair the already worn out structure.
When the flood hit, Police Juror Jack Clampit said they never budgeted or requested money from FEMA because the state already told the parish they would replace it.
After years of debate and discussion, the state fulfilled their promise.
“It’s a project that got stalled by politics. That’s all it was plain and simple politics. We had to let the new Senator and new Representatives band together to get it pushed through,” said Clampit.
Clampit said the state must accept the bid before work starts.
He anticipates that could happen this week, with construction taking at least a year and a half depending on water levels.
“This project is going to get started, so if you have a dock you’ve been putting off building, a retaining wall, or maybe cleaning up camp in front of your house, now is the time to do it. Because this project’s going to start and you don’t want to be there when the water comes up saying I wish, I would of, or I should of,” said Clampit.
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