Protecting People, Property and Our Way of Life
North Lafourche flood-protection work progresses
August 27, 2018
By: Julia Arenstam, HoumaToday.com
About a dozen flood-protection projects totaling more than $15.5 million are underway throughout northern Lafourche Parish.
They include major projects in the Lockport-Larose area and improvements to the Mathews Canal and Clotilda Levee in Gheens.
The North Lafourche Levee District was able to sell $13.5 million worth of bonds to speed these projects, Executive Director Dwayne Bourgeois said. The district will repay the debt with money from a new sales tax district voters approved last year, along with a property tax they renewed.
The three local levee districts, one each in North and South Lafourche and the other in Terrebonne, are the only three in the state that have sales taxes, Bourgeois said.
“Our citizens are extremely proactive,” he said.
While most of the work is in secluded areas of the parish, outreach efforts through social media and an emailed newsletter have helped inform residents about the progress, Bourgeois said.
About $3 million in projects are underway to build a levee in Valentine from Bayou L’Bleau to La. 1, intersecting the current Lockport-to-Larose Hurricane Protection Levee. Another structure is being built at the intersection of the Valentine and hurricane-protection levees. Once complete, it will have gated culverts that will be used to regulate water flow through the canal.
In Gheens, the district is working to strengthen the existing Clotilda levee along the Mathews Canal. The project is budgeted at about $1 million and is being completed by Low Land Construction.
Heavy rains have delayed both projects, and the Levee Board extended the contract time.
The district is also working on several backwater flood protection projects, including one in the St. Charles community.
“Some areas that have never had backwater flood protection are needing protection for the first time now,” Bourgeois said.
The Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee system is also planned to extend into the district from Terrebonne to protect parts of Lafourche.
The districts also coordinate on a number of smaller projects that benefit the wider region.
“Water doesn’t really know boundaries,” Bourgeois said. “It’s a combination of things that work together with regards to bigger picture.”
Flood protection work
Here’s a rundown of North Lafourche Levee District projects now under construction:
- Cost: $1,039,359.
- Stabilize flood protection by widening the levee base. Increasing elevation of the entire ring levee system.
Lockport, Larose and Valentine
- Levee cost: $1,262,155.
- Structure cost: $1,457,945.
- Create a levee from Bayou L’Bleu to La. 1.
Zeller-Larousse Drainage Upgrades
- Cost: $1,164,875.
- Effort aims to prevent flooding around Lake Bouef.
St. Charles Bypass
- Cost: $595,708.
- Prevent flooding along the St. Charles Bypass Road by constructing new drainage ditches and culverts, allowing water to be diverted around the residential area.
Lockport to Larose
- Reach D3 cost: $362,000.
- A2 Levee & Claudet Levee Lift Project cost: $1,540,926.
- Increase flood protection by reshaping and elevating levees.
Lockport to Larose West Side
- Reaches C4 & C5 levee cost: $3,204,792.
- Reach D1 levee cost: $2,958,270.
- Reach A1 levee cost: $1,812,450.
- Reach D2 Rip Rap Armoring cost: $35,000.
- Increase levee height and widen drainage canals.
Bayou Rond Pom Pon
- Cost: $81,664.
- Make improvements to the ring levee, addressing surrounding road embankments and replacing the existing RPP pump station.