NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A new million-dollar project will replace some of St. Tammany Parish’s aging water infrastructure. Parish leaders said it’s been a long time coming.
“Today’s a great day for Slidell and St. Tammany Parish as a whole,” Parish President Mike Cooper said.
18 months ago, Cooper announced the largest water infrastructure investment in St. Tammany Parish history. Construction began on Monday, Oct. 23.
“Every day since then, we have been working to design and prepare for this major project,” Cooper said. “We’re here today to ceremoniously break ground on several projects of that $23 million.”
The $23 million dollar project was funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
The first project officials are working on is a water main connecting the Cross Gates Water System and the Metal Lake Water System, to provide secondary sources for both neighborhoods.
“This interconnecting project will help again, redundancy and resiliency, and providing more water flow and interconnection. The continued investments that we make will further enhance the water systems, not only in these two neighborhoods but across East Tammany Parish.”
There are several projects on the docket, under those $23 million dollars.
Those projects include two elevated water storage towers, a new water well, roughly six miles of new water main, two new permanently mounted generators along with monitoring technology.
Construction on the new water towers is expected to be finished by next year.
All projects must be completed by the end of 2026.
“What we’ve seen at the state level, is that we have really hundreds of water and sewer systems in local government, that have not really been maintained,” Louisiana Senator Sharon Hewitt said. “Most of these systems are 50 years old or older. We formed the water sector commission, so we have appropriated over $750 million dollars statewide to local water and sewer projects for local governments to use.”
These improvements will help nearly 400 neighbors on the Metal Lake System. Once the project is completed, more than 8,100 people will have benefitted.
When I took office in 2020, I promised to improve water infrastructure, particularly here in East St. Tammany and the Cross Gates water area,” said Cooper. “Today, we are renewing that commitment.”
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