Renderings of the LSU lakes after planned improvements. Photo courtesy University Lakes Project.

What’s keeping work from beginning on the University Lakes project?

Partners on the University Lakes project are waiting on permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to start construction.

Mark Goodson, with CSRS and project manager for the project, says the project team has been working to provide the corps with additional information needed to approve construction on the first phase.

The first phase is expected to cost $32 million, Goodson says, with funding coming from the city-parish, BREC, the Office of Community Development, and the Department of Transportation and Development, as well as capital outlay funds.

Phase one construction will focus on dredging five of the six lakes: City Park, Erie, Crest, Campus and College. City Park Lake will be dredged first, Goodson says.

If project leaders are given a heads-up as to when the permits will be granted, Goodson says that the contractor can start mobilizing equipment in preparation, but that it will likely be a couple of weeks after the permits are granted before major work can begin.

Other facets of phase one include improving some of the pedestrian and biking paths, as well as the May Street path connecting City Park and University lakes. Other pathway improvements are planned for future phases as funding becomes available.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation sponsored a 2016 master planning process for the improvements. The LSU Real Estate and Facilities Foundation is overseeing implementation.

This story originally appeared in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report’s Daily Report newsletter.