ST. TAMMANY, La. - President Mike Cooper ceremoniously broke ground on the largest water infrastructure improvement project in St. Tammany Parish history, a $23 million investment in the Cross Gates Water systems, on Monday.
The initiative will be completed in several projects, starting with the Meadowlake Interconnect, which includes a new water main to connect Cross Gates and the Meadowlake water systems to provide secondary sources and an additional well connection for the Cross Gates water system.
“Our commitment to providing stronger, more resilient and reliable water infrastructure has never been stronger,” said Cooper. “I am proud of our staff, Team Tammany, who worked hard to bring these dollars to St. Tammany and all who helped bring this unprecedented investment to fruition. This is yet another example of how vast the benefits can be for our citizens when we work together with our local, state and federal partners.”
In all, the improvements include two new water towers, 30,000’ of new water main, a 1,000 gpm water well, two new permanent generators and remote monitoring technology for the Cross Gates Water Systems. All of the aforementioned improvements are actively being moved forward in various stages.
The new water tower construction is expected by early 2024.
"I am excited to see the work started to improve water quality and reliability in the St. Tammany Utilities water system,” said state Sen. Sharon Hewitt. “Being a resident in this area, I know how important this project is and am proud to have brought $23 million in state funding to get Phase 1 underway."
Funding includes $15.7 million from the state through the Water Sector Program Grant Awards and $7.1 million from St. Tammany Parish. Both contributions are derived from American Rescue Plan Act funding.
"Today's groundbreaking marks the commitment of both the St. Tammany Legislative delegation and Parish President Cooper's Administration to providing much needed improvements to the water system for the Cross Gates community,” said state Rep. Mary DuBuisson. “This is why we created the Water Sector Program, so that communities will have the necessary system upgrades that will provide our citizens confidence in their water."
Once entirely completed, which is required by 2026, the investment will create resiliency and provide consolidation for the entire Cross Gates Water System, which benefits more than 8,100 citizens in Cross Gates, Meadow Lake, Ozone Pines, Southern Manor Mobile Home Park and Lazy Wheels Mobile Home Park.
In addition to providing new infrastructure, the consolidation will provide secondary water sources, offer much needed storage capacity and fire protection and provide resiliency during severe weather events.
At the groundbreaking on Monday, October 23, President Cooper personally thanked the entire Northshore legislative delegation and the St. Tammany Parish Council for their efforts in allocating the funding for these projects.
In addition to Water Sector Phase 1 funding, St. Tammany Parish Government actively pursued and was awarded $62 million for Water Sector Phase 2, which focused on creating resiliency, consolidating water systems and improving water quality within Department of Utilities systems in Slidell and the Madisonville/Covington areas.