Ma'am the Lake Drive Project takes water from Long Lake, to Horseshoe Lake under Lake Drive, which engineers believe would be the shortest, least disruptive route. Let me assure you, it's going to end up there anyway; unless frozen, water seeks the lowest level (if not absorbed) along the way. It can flow through a managed route, or unmanaged through Elm Slough predominantly. There are some bottleneck improvements at 162 scheduled that would help, but not make the trip shorter.
The Lake Drive Project also brings a way to manage the level of Long Lake, which is unmanaged now. I cannot express to you the importance of QUICKLY removing water from Long Lake. It's REALLY flat in that area. That concept will be magnified as Long Lake becomes more shallow if left undredged. All the modeling I have witnessed supports that. Common sense dictates that the same amount of water, dumped in a more shallow basin, spreads out more. I don't need a model to tell me that.
Randy Presswood and MESD Operating Engineers re-established a silted-in channel through Elm Slough and dug about 1/4 mile of new channel based on decisions I made with MadCo Stormwater staff. It was so important to me, it was my first change. It has worked well in moderate flooding, but wont offer real relief on a long term basis. That area needs an engineered solution. The Lake Drive Project has been kicked around for years, predates my involvement, all the civil engineers agree it really is the fastest solution to prevent flooding around that area.
In the end, the quality of life along Long lake hinges on:
1. Property owners and local elected officials making sure the ditches are clean, and water can freely flow to Long Lake, the low point locally.
2. Long lake can dredged enough to store that water. (Retention)
3. Long Lake levels can be managed to release enough water as quickly as necessary to ensure that it flows to the next reservoir in the chain at Horseshoe, but still prevent flooding around Long Lake. That is called detention. The idea is to release water at as controlled a rate as necessary to prevent flash-flooding upstream or downstream.
But in the end...you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make her drink. (Pun intended, respectfully) If you really believe that the Lake Drive Project is a bad idea, or a flood control conspiracy, well that's ok. Call your local public official and tell that person you object. You may change their mind...but you won't change mine.