News

Levee District Begins Project Connecting Floodgates

By:  Nikki Buskey, The Courier

Published:  June 27, 2012 at www.HoumaToday.com

 

Work on a new section of Terrebonne’s Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane protection will begin next month.

Terrebonne levee officials are starting work on a levee section known as “F-1,” a one-mile, 10-foot-tall section of levee that will connect the massive Houma Navigation Canal and the Bayou Grand Caillou floodgates`now under construction.

The Terrebonne Levee Board took bids earlier this month to construct the project. It was expected to cost almost $4.6 million, but the low bid came in more than $1 million under budget at $3.4 million, said Levee District Manager Angela Rains. Local engineering and construction company Volute had the low bid.

Competition for Terrebonne Levee District projects has brought costs down, said Levee Director Reggie Dupre.

“The trend is we’ve been getting very low bids, so that’s a good thing,” Dupre said.

Rains said successful bidding means construction could begin in July. The Terrebonne Levee Board began building its own scaled-down version of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane protection system with state and local tax dollars after Hurricane Ike flooded the parish in 2008. The project features 10-foot levees and 18-foot floodgates built along Morganza’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-approved path in hopes that the agency will come back and finish the project later.

So far, the Levee Board is building or is preparing to build more than $220 million in levees in lower Chauvin and Pointe-aux-Chenes and along Falgout Canal and the Houma Navigation Canal. The board has also built floodgates in Placid and Bush canals. It may also go to the public to ask for a sales tax to raise another $180 million for levees and floodgates.

This latest levee segment is important because it will connect two of the Levee District’s biggest projects so far.

The $48 million Houma Navigation Canal floodgate is the centerpiece of the Terrebonne Levee District’s local effort.

The canal floodgate will close by swinging shut and sinking into place a 273-foot-long, 60-foot-wide and 42-foot-high barge under construction. When closed, the barge will rise 18 feet above the waterline to block storm surge.

The barge will be pumped full of water — 1.8 million gallons — to sink it. It will take up to five hours to close it and, because of its enormity, it will have to stay closed for days until the flood threat has passed.

A mile away, the Terrebonne Levee District is also building a $24 million barge floodgate on Bayou Grand Caillou. That floodgate will be closed by a barge measuring 213 feet long, 30-feet wide and 40-feet tall.

Creating a way to block the Houma Navigation Canal has been a top priority for local levee officials. The canal, which was dug as a straight line from the Gulf of Mexico to Houma, acts as a funnel during storms, sending Gulf water rushing directly toward the city.

Both floodgates should be finished by next year’s hurricane, Dupre said, though the levees connecting them may not yet be.

“Those floodgates will provide significant flood protection for the residents of Terrebonne Parish,” Dupre said.
 

 

 

200 OK

OK

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, [no address given] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.