Work on Hurricane Protection System in Louisiana Begins

January 15, 2009

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced that the state and parish are breaking ground on a three-mile, $6.9 million stretch of the Morganza to-the-Gulf Hurricane Protection System in Chauvin. This project is designed to provide a storm surge barrier for the towns of Chauvin, Grand Caillou and parts of east Houma, all of which experienced their worst flooding ever during Hurricane Ike last September.

Fully funded by the state and Terrebonne Parish, the three-mile stretch, identified as Reach H-3, will include ten-foot dirt levees and is expected to take 18 months to build. When completed the Morganza to-the-Gulf Hurricane Protection System will include a 66-mile series of levees, floodgates and locks that will provide storm surge protection to Terrebonne and Lafourche residents.

Morganza-to-the-Gulf was given approval by Congress in 2000, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers missed the authorization deadline for the project. It was re-approved in the 2007 Water Resources Development Act but has been delayed again by the Corps of Engineers because of escalating costs.

In order to speed up work on the Morganza project, Governor Jindal also announced a commitment of $195 million, in state and local funding, to help build the hurricane protection system. Of the $195 million, the state is allocating $101 million from state surplus money, capital outlay and Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funds.

The balance is funded by parish revenue and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

This is the largest commitment of funds to a hurricane protection system outside the New Orleans area and will result in the implementation of the first lift of 75 percent of the proposed Morganza project, including:
–More than seven miles of levee in the Dulac Area to tie into the proposed structure on the Houma Navigation Canal;
–More than seven of levee in lower Chauvin to reduce flooding in the Boudreaux basin to protect Dulac, Grand Cailliou, Chauvin and lower Houma;
–More than six miles in Upper Chauvin to protect, Chauvin, Montegut and Upper little Cailliou;
–More than five miles in Montegut to tie into the completed levee section in Point-aux-Chenes protecting that community and Montegut.

Historically, Louisiana allocated approximately $25-30 million per year for hurricane protection and coastal restoration. Louisiana has dedicated more than $1.1 billion from multiple funds to coastal restoration and hurricane protection efforts since Governor Jindal’s administration began in January 2008.

Source: Louisiana Governor’s Office

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