The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the Terrebonne Parish Levee and Conservation District (TLCD) that allows work accomplished and paid for by CPRA and TLCD to count toward the 35% local cost share.
A local match is required for any federal appropriation to build projects associated with the Morganza to the Gulf Levee System, a multi-billion dollar project.
Authorized in 2004, the project was deemed financially infeasible by the Corps after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when new standards dramatically increased the cost of constructing the system to a 100-year level of protection.
Terrebonne Parish and the State of Louisiana, now represented by CPRA, chose to move forward without federal funding, partnering to provide as much protection as could be afforded.
The Corps cooperated by advising on construction to keep the project within acceptable specifications should future federal funding be secured.
To date, a total of $440 million has been spent by the state and the parish. Ultimately, the Morganza to the Gulf Levee system is seeking 98 miles of earthen levee, 22 floodgates on navigable waterways, 23 environmental water control structures, and a lock complex consisting of a lock in the Houma Navigation Canal measuring 110 feet wide by 800 feet long, an adjoining floodgate measuring 250 feet wide, and a dam closure.
In signing the MOU with CPRA and TLCD, the Corps agreed that work and expenditures on 33 increments of the system that have been completed, are under construction, or will be going to construction can count toward the local cost share if future federal funds get appropriated.
The Houma Navigational Canal Lock Complex is being constructed with approximately $415 million resulting from the aftermath of the BP oil spill. This MOU will allow that funding to count toward future local cost-share obligations.