West Shore Lake Pontchartrain project breaks ground

Gov. John Bel Edwards yesterday joined the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) along with federal, state, and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony on the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection system.

The project will provide 100-year hurricane and storm surge protection to 60,000 Louisianans in St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist parishes.

The $760 million project will span 18.5 miles, including 17.5 miles of levees, one mile of T-wall, drainage structures, pump stations, and several non-structural protection measures to form an integrated protection system.

The structure will span from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi River Levee near Garyville and provide storm surge protection and improved resilience on the western shores of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

The West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection project is a joint effort of CPRA and the New Orleans District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pontchartrain Levee District, and St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes. Construction of the project is being funded through a 65 percent federal, 35 percent local cost share.

Initial vegetation clearing and data collection are now complete and contracts to excavate and stockpile levee material from the Bonnet Carre Spillway have been awarded, with project completion anticipated for 2024.

Photo: USACE