Interested in learning what the proposed $514 million Upper Barataria levee project might mean for St. Charles Parish, nearly 100 people attended the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meeting Tuesday on the project.
Sarah Bradley, Corps senior project and program manager, told the crowd at the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling that, although this type meeting lacked a formal process for public input, that written comments would be accepted by Jan. 13.
Bradley outlined the Corps study that will outline whether the 18.3-mile, 50-year storm levee is feasible, which will assess the flood risk from tidal surges, coastal storm surges and rainfall. The study area includes seven south Louisiana parishes, including St. Charles Parish.
“There is yet quite a lot of work to be done,” Bradley said.
In the next year, the plan will be optimized to determine if flood losses would exceed the cost of the 7-1/2 foot high levee, she said.
Currently, the levee system would extend from the existing St. Charles Parish levee continuing south, improving the Sunset Levee, and including a vehicle crossing in Bayou Gauche, according to the Corps. The levee would cross Bayou Des Allemands south of U.S. Highway 90 with a 270-foot barge gate structure. It would then run parallel Highway 90 until high ground near Raceland. Hydraulic control structures would be placed in the section paralleling the highway to maintain existing water exchanges.
Bradley said plan selection and the final report will be done by April 2021 with the Chief’s Report or recommendations to Congress done by October of this same year.
The state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Lafourche Basin Levee District, North Lafourche Levee District and St. Charles Parish are participating in the study. CPRA is the project’s local sponsor and could be required to cover at least 35 percent of its cost with the rest to come in federal dollars.
To submit comments on the project, email them to UpperBatatariaFS@usace.army.mil or mail them to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CEMVN-PMR-C: 7400 Leake Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118-365.