Contract Awarded to Begin Closing Gap in Levee System

By: Sean Ellis,

June 2, 2015


Terrebonne Parish awarded about a $15.9 million contract to Ceres Environmental Services to begin closing the final section of the central part of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf storm protection system.

"This is the last big gap where there is no levee that currently exists. Once we have Reach E underway you will have some kind of protection along the entire alignment from Pointe-aux-Chenes," said Reggie Dupre, executive director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District. "Our goal is by 2018 to have some level of protection from Cut Off all the way to the west side of Bayou Dularge. We seem to be on track to meeting that goal."

Reach E, a roughly four-mile segment of levee that will parallel the south side of Falgout Canal Road, will be financed with the first significant federal money to be spent on Morganza since its inception in the early 1990s, Dupre said.

About $14 million of federal Community Development Block Grant money covers most of the roughly $21 million project. Local tax dollars will pay for the remainder.

The Falgout Canal levee is the final segment that will connect the "five bayous of Terrebonne Parish," Dupre said.

Two large box culverts to be installed beneath Falgout Canal Road will allow freshwater to push into the marsh and restore plant and animal life lost to salt water encroachment. The road itself, which was damaged in preparation for construction, was closed to parking and fishing last summer to keep residents safe.

The levee district will pay roughly $2 million to repair the roads once the local reaches of the Morganza project have been completed, officials said.

Dupre said roughly $6 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program money will pay for part of the roughly $7 million water control project.

Ceres Environmental has had several contracts with the levee district and one major contract with the parish.

Bidding for segment two of Reach E will open in late August or early September after some land rights issues have been resolved. Because the second segment is not as long as the first, both segments are expected to be completed at the same time. Construction is expected to begin in late summer or early fall with completion expected in late 2016 or early 2017.

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