St. Charles Herald-Guide

Western Tie-in to tie up Hwy. 90 traffic for 5 months

By Jonathan Menard - November 18, 2011

Already faced with increased dump truck traffic on Highway 90, residents traveling on the highway will be forced through single-lane detours on both sides of the road for around five months early next year, according to Corps of Engineers spokesman Jeff Williams.

The detour is necessary because the corps is constructing bridges on both the east and west lanes of Highway 90 near the St. Charles/Jefferson line as part of the Western Tie-In. The bridges will take motorists over a floodwall built to an elevation of15.5 feet.

Construction is expected to begin in February or March.

While the bridges are under construction, residents will have to detour off the road into a one-lane road that will take them around the construction site.

Motorists will also travel through a detour on River Road near the diversion in Ama beginning in January as part of the tie-in construction. However, Williams said that the two-lane detour will only result in reduced speeds through the construction zone.

The Western Tie-In consists of 4.5 miles of levees and floodwalls along the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Canal and Outer Cataouatche Canal, as well as a navigable closure structure across Bayou Verret, an elevated crossing at Highway 90, two railroad gates and a second highway crossing that ties into the Mississippi River Levee.

The total construction value of the project is an estimated $140 million.

Officials and residents have been worried that the system of levees and floodwalls that will follow the contour of the Davis Pond Diversion from the Lake Cataouatche levee south of Waggaman to the Mississippi River levee near Ama will cause additional flooding in St. Charles.

The corps has denied that the project will negatively impact the parish in any way.