More protection will be added to the Leon Theriot Floodgate in Lafourche Parish, La., as repairs begin this weekend following an accident that closed the gate for several days.
The Daily Comet reported the lock in Galliano was damaged when the M/V Gracie Claire, owned by Triple S Marine, struck its skirting on Dec. 19.
Pilings and timbers on the southeast side were damaged, but the lock mechanism was not, said Jimmy Badeaux, South Lafourche Levee District operations superintendent.
A strong wind and current were blamed for causing the bump, Badeaux said.
A deckhand steering the boat got caught up in it, Badeaux said.
The captain of the Gracie Claire was able to control the vessel and prevent further damage.
In all, 26 pilings and all of the 12-by-12 timbers were destroyed, Badeaux said.
The lock was closed temporarily. It has since reopened with a barge sitting near the southeast side of the gate to act as a temporary replacement for the skirting to protect the locks.
The district plans to reinforce the lock at the damaged site.
“I’m doubling up what he broke. I’m putting up that much more to the south,” Badeaux said.
The repairs and upgrades will cost about $125,000.
Badeaux said Triple S Marine will pay for repairing most of the damage, but the levee district will incur a small cost to extend the protective skirting.
Because of the lock’s almost constant use, the project has been a priority for the levee district, Badeaux said.
Construction is expected to start over the weekend with most of the work completed within about two weeks.
During the levee district board’s meeting this past week, board members discussed developing procedures for captains to use when moving their boats through the lock.
Levee district officials said multiple incidents have caused damage to the lock in the past several years.
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