Contraband Bayou Project at McNeese needs additional $1 million

Contraband Bayou Project at McNeese needs additional $1 million

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Contraband Bayou project at McNeese is going to cost a million dollars more than originally expected. University officials say the price crept up gradually over the seven years the project has been in the works. But University officials expect funding to be forthcoming.

The bayou, which runs through the campus at McNeese, is picturesque.

But that part of Contraband Bayou has problems University officials say need to be fixed for safety reasons among others. Richard Rhoden is Director of Facilities and Plant Operations at McNeese.

"Definitely some safety issues, it's going to help us maintain our property and quit eroding and quit creeping up on our buildings and our parking lots for sure and it will absolutely improve the looks of the banks, but it's primarily an erosion control project," he said.

Officials say the project has been in the works for about seven years and is now expected to cost about $7 million which reflects about $1 million dollars more than first estimated.

"I think seven years of inflation is definitely the biggest contributor of that. The project is submitted in phases for the state to check the design. With each phase, they do an update on the budget. And so, as they've done each phase, it's kind of crept up. Just as they refine the design and know more what's going into it, they can better define what the cost is going to be,” said Rhoden.

But Rhoden says the State Bond Commission is expected to finalize a bond issue to provide the funding needed.

"The legislature action made the approval for the million dollars already, but still, once that's done, it's required to go through the bond commission to actually allow the sale of the bonds," he said.

If all goes as planned, Rhoden says they will go out for bids and see the project completed this year.

Rhoden says the Contraband Bayou funding goes before the Bond Commission in September.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.