Parish secures permit for Magnolia Ridge levee

From staff and wire reports
August 29, 2014 at 1:05 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

St. Charles Parish can move ahead with construction of an 8.3-mile stretch of levee between the Davis Pond Diversion and the Paradis Canal after receiving a permit for the Magnolia Ridge reach last week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana Department of Natural Resources gave final approval of the permit, which includes the second lift of an earthen levee, tidal exchange structures and a major pumping station for interior drainage.

“Since we started this endeavor in 2008, I’ve always compared the West Bank Levee to a puzzle, and I’m happy to say that this is one of the final ‘approval pieces,’” Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said. “This is a major milestone, but we’ve still got years of construction ahead.”

St. Charles Parish has $35 million in grants and local funding budgeted for planned levee work, with approximately $1.1 million already spent this year on construction of Phase I of the Willowridge reach, soil borings for the Ellington reach and permit fees for the Magnolia Ridge reach. The funds are also being utilized for mitigation, surveying, appraisals, land acquisition, testing and inspection.

Funds not used this year will be rolled over to the 2015 budget for the construction of phases II and III of the Willowridge reach and phase I of the Ellington reach. All three phases are scheduled to be advertised for bids in early 2015.

Phases II and III of the Willowridge reach will include the Willowridge pump station, gap filling in the earthen levee, a gated culvert near the end of Willowridge Drive, two tidal interchange structures and the eastern tie-in levee from Willowridge Drive to the Davis Diversion West Guide Levee. Phase I of the Ellington reach will include an earthen levee with an elevation of 7 feet with gaps along the 3.1-mile reach, funds permitting.

The St. Charles Parish West Bank Hurricane Protection includes an approximately 18.3-mile stretch to be completed directly to the south of Luling, Boutte, Paradis, Bayou Gauche and Des Allemands. The parish continues to seek funding assistance from the federal and state partners to expedite construction.

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