The goal/mission statement of the street and drainage maintenance division is to maintain safe roadways and sidewalks for pedestrian and vehicular traffic and to maintain City infrastructure drainage systems.
The crews of this division provide general roadway maintenance (maintaining, repairing, improving City streets) and drainage on public streets. Street sweepers ensure streets are free of dirt, leaves, and debris. The maintenance of City streets includes surface treatment and overlay; correction of street failures including handicap ramps, curbs and gutters, construction catch basins, drainage boxes, and patching potholes.
The drainage crew is responsible for maintaining the City's drainage system. This drainage system includes underground drainage, surface drainage and open ditch drainage.
Two vital pieces of equipment are used for drainage maintenance: Track hoe (excavators) and Vaccon. Track hoe (excavators) are used to clean ditches and Vaccons blow and clean drains, catch basins and culverts.
For drainage repair the drainage crew uses a track hoe and a dozer. Track hoes excavate damaged drain lines for repair. Dozers are used to level aggregate roadways and city-owned property.
In conjunction with the above-mentioned equipment, the drainage crew uses four dump trucks to haul debris when cleaning ditches and when performing other special jobs. These dump trucks also serve as the means to bring the track hoe and dozer to job sites.
The City of Lake Charles is divided into 10 zones. Maintenance crews, using the track hoe (excavators) and the Vaccon, work their way through each zone, beginning with Zone 1. In each zone, they clean ditches, drains, catch basins, etc.
Repair crews, using the track hoe and the dozer, are dispatched to specific sites from calls taken through the Public Works Helpline. Citizens, councilmen and other City departments/divisions call in problems and complaints to the Public Works Helpline. The Drainage Foreman will investigate the complaints. After the investigation is complete, he prioritizes the calls based upon his findings, creates work orders for them and places them on the work schedule.
Calls will come into the Helpline for problems that must be addressed by the maintenance crews using the Gradall and Vaccon. These work orders become part of the maintenance crews' work schedules.
Complaint Procedures
When citizens have complaints concerning drainage, they may call the Public Works Helpline at
(337) 491-1220. These calls are processed by the employees who staff the Helpline and the information is placed into the Public Works work order system. When calls come in about emergencies such as "cave-ins," they are immediately dispatched via radio to the Street Division so that the area of the emergency can be barricaded. The location of the emergency is noted in the Street Division's Barricade Report and is monitored daily by the Barricade Custodian.
The work order system is monitored by the Division Supervisor, Foremen and Secretary. Drainage calls usually are investigated by the Drainage/Heavy Equipment Foreman the following day. However, in certain instances, i.e. weather, large drainage jobs, emergencies, etc., the time of investigation may be delayed.
After the Foreman prioritizes the calls that come into the Helpline, he creates work orders for them. Once work orders are created they can be placed into the drainage work schedule. Drainage crews operate on a two-week schedule. The two-week schedule can and will be interrupted when new calls come in that develop into high priority work orders. High priority work orders supersede regularly scheduled work.
For certain jobs the crews will need to dig or disturb the ground in some way. When work of this nature is to be performed, the Street Division will call in a "Dottie" to the state of Louisiana. For "Dotties" located in Calcasieu Parish, the state of Louisiana mandates a 96-hour waiting period from the time the "Dottie" has been called in to the time someone can start digging.
Once the "Dottie" has been marked the crew can begin the work. Unless said crew has to respond to an emergency call, they will finish the job started.
Please note:  Mayor's Action Line calls are also entered in the work order system and are handled in the same manner as calls that originate with the Helpline.