St. John the Baptist Parish Council awarded the St. Joan of Arc/Persimmon St. drainage improvements project to Command Construction of Metairie at a cost of $1,539,190.00. This project is funded through the 2009 Bond Issue and was originally estimated to cost $1,600,000. Improvements will consist of adding new culverts along Fir Street, West 5th Street and Spruce Street, cleaning the canal along the railroad track between Fir Street and Maple Loop, and installing a new drainage pump station between Captain Bourgeois and Persimmon St. These additions will allow drainage water to be pumped into the Mississippi River, rather than traveling north of Airline Highway.
The pre-construction meeting for the project was conducted Monday and construction is scheduled to begin on March 1, 2011. Parish President Natalie Robottom said, "This project will improve drainage in areas that historically have been problematic. Several attempts were made to relieve the problem, but this solution is more comprehensive." Councilman Haston Lewis added, "It has been a problem for many years; therefore, we are expecting this project and design to correct the problem." The project is scheduled to be completed in 120 days.