On Nov. 14, 2016, the Cane River Waterway Commission retained Womack and Sons Construction Group, Inc. to construct the “Cane River Lake Pump Station” and related structures. The purpose of the project was to provide a means to pump water, as needed, from Hampton’s Lake (an oxbow of Red River) into Cane River Lake, during times when the water level of Cane River Lake dropped below certain limits.
The project was originally scheduled for completion in January 2018. At the contractor’s request, the Commission voluntarily extended this date by about one month.
During initial tests, it was determined that the discharge rates from the pumping and filtering system were lower than the project specifications. All of the persons involved in the project, including its engineer, contractor, and subcontractors, immediately began work to evaluate and address this issue. At present, those persons are continuing to address this issue.
Based on the information provided by the engineers, contractors, and subcontractors, the Commission currently estimates that it shall take at least two more weeks to fully test the system. It is hoped that a solution to the current problem shall be developed during that testing. As a public entity, the Commission shall require compliance with its public contract and other specifications of the job.
Chairman Jim Rhodes has explained that this is the largest project of its type in the United States. “We understand that some troubleshooting is not unusual for a project of this scope,” he said. Nonetheless, the Commission “must protect its interests, and will do so.” Right now, Rhodes believes that the responsible persons are all working together to promptly address the issues. “We want to give them time to complete their work,” he said.