Vermilion Parish drainage officials cleaning Valcourt Coulee have run into a problem.
"We have an obstacle: the bypass, as you can see by looking at the box culverts that drain Valcourt coulee under the bypass are completely stopped up. The state is responsible for keeping those box culverts clean," says Wayne Touchet with the police jury.
Local leaders say cleaning out that coulee is necessary to prevent future flooding. DOTD wasn’t sure that was the case.
"It appears that since they cleaned the channel, the box culvert itself is starting to clean itself out," says Bill Oliver with DOTD.
Then, DOTD engineers looked at the culvert themselves and saw the problem with their own eyes.
"The middle barrel is so silted up that it’s not cleaning; it may be too hard," says Oliver.
At the meeting over the coulee, teamwork began to ensue.
"A meeting that started off not so friendly ended friendly when we all put resources together with the state, the parish and the drainage board to have the equipment and manpower necessary to clean those covers," says Touchet.
Next week, DOTD and the drainage board will come in to clean out the box culvert.
"We’ll pull the tool to break the material up and clean most of it out, and then it will keep clean," says Oliver.