Parish to close last big gap in levee system

By:  Chris LeBlanc,

May 5, 2015


Terrebonne Parish is getting ready to close the gap in its levee system.

Construction on what's called Reach E of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf storm protection system should begin in late summer or early fall and last just over one year, said Reggie Dupre, executive director of the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District.

"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," Dupre said. "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," he said.

There are two water-control structures in the works that will be installed beneath Falgout Canal Road. These large box culverts will allow freshwater from the canal to push into the wetlands on the other side of the road to restore plant and animal life lost to salt water encroachment.

Falgout Canal Road, which has been damaged as preparations were made for the levee work, was closed to fishing and parking late last summer to keep residents safe during construction.

However, officials said once construction on the local reaches of the Morganza project are complete, the levee district will pay roughly $2 million to repair damage caused by work crews.

Dupre said roughly $6 million in Coastal Impact Assistance Program money will pay for part of the roughly $7 million water control project. Permitting and acquiring land rights will likely push the start date into late 2016.

Prospective contractors and engineers had the opportunity to ask questions about the levee construction and the bidding process in a pre-bid meeting Monday morning in the Parish Council chambers in Houma's Government Tower.



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