Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion Project Moves Along

The Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is soliciting proposals for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion project.

On March 6, CPRA released a Request for Statement of Interest and Qualifications (RSIQ) for eligible firms interested in providing engineering, surveying, and other technical support for the Mid-Barataria project.

The Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion will be the first controlled sediment diversion reconnecting the Mississippi River with its delta.

A cornerstone of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, the diversion will provide sediment, water, and nutrients to the basin in order to build, maintain, and sustain the wetlands, complementing the billions of dollars that have been or will be invested in marsh creation projects in basin, which utilize Mississippi River dredging.

In November 2016, CPRA was granted funds for the effort from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which only allows its dollars to be used for diversions or barrier island projects.

Two months later, in January 2017, CPRA selected GEC, Inc. as the contractor to conduct the third party Environmental Impact Statement for the project in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In late January, the White House Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council approved Governor John Bel Edwards’ request to include the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion on the Federal Permitting Dashboard, a government-wide effort to streamline the federal permitting and review process while increasing transparency.

CPRA is now seeking a team of consultants to provide engineering services and a final design for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. The chosen team will play a critical role in CPRA’s innovative delivery method for the project, which is known as Construction Management at Risk (CMAR).

This involves hiring the construction contractor during the early design phases to collaborate with the consultant team on engineering, constructability, and costing. It is anticipated that CPRA will release a Request for Qualifications in the second quarter of 2017 for CMAR services.

Current preliminary designs for the project include an inlet channel, a gated structure at the Mississippi River Levee, a conveyance channel, a gated outlet structure at the future New Orleans to Venice back levee, interior drainage improvements, and highway and railroad alignment accommodations.

There will be an informational meeting held on March 16, 2017 with questions due to CPRA by March 31, 2017. The solicitation window closes April 20, 2017 and the selection announcement will be June 30, 2017.

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