News

Work to fill gaps in levee protection

By:  Xerxes Wilson, HoumaToday.com

March 29, 2014

http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20140329/ARTICLES/140329439/0/search

 

The Terrebonne Parish Levee District is continuing to fill gaps in the parish's primary defenses against flooding.

The district recently awarded construction contracts for a 4.5-mile stretch of levees across the bottom of the Lake Boudreaux basin, known as Reach G2, south of Dulac.

The stretch will effectively cap the bottom of the basin, which in the past has been an easy conduit for storm surge to pile upon the surrounding communities.

“The most important gap was the area between Little Caillou and the Houma Navigation Canal in lower Dulac,” Terrebonne Parish Levee District Director Reggie Dupre said. “We've awarded all the contracts in that gap. The only thing we are waiting for is design of the Bayou Four Point floodgate.”

That 24-foot gate is being planned. Dupre said the protective levees around it won't be ready this hurricane season.

“A six-mile gap, will now be 24 feet,” Dupre said. “It takes more than one year to build this, but by 2015, the southern part of Morganza will be done.”

The Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee footprint on the west side of that basin was completed in recent years. It runs north from Cocodrie to Humble Canal where the levees turn east.

To the west of the basin, Reach F is under construction and will run north along the Houma Navigation Canal to Falgout Canal before veering westward.

“What we did three years ago is concentrate on the east side of Bayou Little Caillou,” Dupre said. “The next priority was between the (Houma Navigation Canal) and Bayou Little Caillou. Now we are to the point where we can begin to connect the dots in between.”

Reach G2 is broken up into three segments. One stretch was awarded to Low Land Construction Co. of Houma for about $3 million. The other two contracts were won by Ceres Environmental Services of Brooklyn, Minn., for nearly $16 million combined.

Most of the stretch will be built to a 12-foot elevation. One part will be built a foot and a half higher to accommodate for more rapid subsidence of its foundation.

“You have soil conditions, which means you will have greater settlement,” Dupre said of the stretch that runs through open water.

Dupre said the construction of local protection is moving at a rapid pace fueled by the sales tax voters approved last year. Meanwhile, parish officials are waiting anxiously for a congressional conference committee to possibly included federal approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan for a more substantial protection system.

“In my humble opinion, I think of Terrebonne Parish as the most comprehensive non-federal storm surge protection program going on in the country,” Dupre said.

 

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