Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards yesterday signed an agreement allocating a total of $41.7 million to Lafourche Parish levee districts for storm protection projects.
The total includes $36 million of the State’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds and $5.6 million in surplus to the South Lafourche Levee District.
GOMESA is a critical funding stream established in 2006 to provide dedicated funds to Louisiana’s coastal program from qualified federal outer continental shelf revenues.
“Today’s announcement signifies what is possible when state government has a productive relationship with local levee districts and coastal parishes. The funds we are announcing today will help provide the residents of Lafourche Parish the protection they need and deserve,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline.
The North Lafourche Levee District has five projects slated for construction:
- Levee improvements to the Gheens community, raising the height of almost four miles of levee from an average of 5 feet to 7 feet.
- Replacing the old pump station at Des Allemands with two 16-inch diesel pumps and a 500 gallon double-walled fuel tank, protecting approximately 2,500 homes in Des Allemands.
- A deployable structure to close the Hollywood Canal when needed, preventing backwater flooding on the Lafourche side from the intersection of LA 316 and Prospect Extension northwest to the intersection of Bayou Blue Bypass Road and the Hollywood Canal, and protecting 1,800 homes and numerous businesses.
- Enhancing the 40 Arpent Canal Levee from Lockport Company Canal to Butch Hill Station, drastically increasing flood protection for more than 3,500 structures, including homes, schools, businesses, and a hospital.
- 1,500 feet of levee from Bayou Folse that ties back into the Highway 90 embankment, allowing the district to elevate existing levees in the area to a height of 6.5 feet.
“This isn’t a wish list; these are real projects for which we have the money,” said Bren Haase, CPRA Executive Director. “You’ll see some of them starting construction this year, and all of them could be in construction in the next year or two. And past that, we have a $3 million flood management project being planned for the Upper Barataria Basin.”
The South Lafourche Levee District has three projects slated for construction:
- Grand Bayou Floodgate, a critical link within the Morganza to the Gulf Levee System; it will provide flood protection to an elevation of 15 feet.
- Raising the Golden Meadow Pump Station Floodwall from 13 feet to 17 feet, removing an 800 foot gap which is four feet lower than the adjacent levee system.
- Larose Floodgate Steel A-frame Improvement, which will raise the flood protection from 8 feet to 13 feet adjacent to the Ted Gisclair Floodgate in Larose.
The recently completed project is the LA-1 Highway Floodgate, which raised the level of protection from 12 feet to 18 feet, replacing the less reliable temporary Hesco Basket closure.