QUESTION: The new parking lot at Goodwood Library has a severe drainage problem. An area in the northeast part of the parking lot becomes flooded with as much as 3 inches of standing water after a rainfall long after the rest of the parking lot has drained. When will this problem be fixed?

ANSWER: Mary H. Stein, assistant library director for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library systems, says: “The Main Library at Goodwood’s new parking lot includes a number of bioswales — these drainage features are gently sloped landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water and in essence, slow down and reduce runoff before releasing it to the watershed or storm sewer. For the most part the bioswales are working very well. We have experienced issues with several of them; each time after exceedingly heavy rain. And while no drainage element is proof against a 4-inch downpour, we do want to achieve better performance throughout.

“We are working with the Department of Public Works and our architects as well as with our partner BREC to address this issue, since staff have observed that oak leaves from nearby trees and other debris sometimes accumulate there and block the intake. A solution under discussion includes a combination of a new maintenance routine and reviewing possible alternatives to the existing mulch.”

The price of progress

QUESTION: With the traffic jam on Essen Lane every day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. caused by the construction of an extra lane, is there any good reason the contractor does not have a full crew working there daily?

ANSWER: Former interim city-parish Public Works Director Bryan Harmon told us, before he recently retired, that there are actually three activities going on at the same time:

“The utilities are being relocated along Essen Lane from Perkins to Interstate 10. This work is being performed by the private utility companies and is being coordinated through the state Department of Transportation and Development.

“Concurrent with that, to get a jump start the contractor has been removing part of the bridge to allow it to be widened. But that work is limited until the utilities are completely clear.

“The third activity is the widening at the ramps under the interstate. That project started June 8.”

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