Project Name: Phase 1 Dredging
Status: Completed (2011)
Funding Sources: Louisiana State Surplus Funds
Cost: $20 million
Brief Description: Dredging from Donaldsonville to Belle Rose removed vegetation and sediment from the mostly heavily silted area of Bayou Lafourche in order to allow for additional water to be pumped into the bayou which serves as the main source of drinking water for more than 300,000 people and is the primary water source for offshore oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, a silt trap was created in Donaldsonville to localize sediment collection.
Project Name: Phase 2 Dredging
Status: Completed (2016)
Funding Sources: Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority (CPRA) through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP)
Cost: $20.6 million
Brief Description: MRRBL Phase 2 picked up where Phase 1 dredging ended just north of the LA Highway 998 bridge in Belle Rose. The project removed vegetation and nearly 800,000 cubic yards of sediment in the 10.9 miles between Belle Rose and Napoleonville. The increased conveyance capacity will allow for more fresh water to enhance the water quality in the bayou.
Project Name: Union Pacific Bridge Replacement
Status: Completed (2016)
Funding Sources: BLFWD, Union Pacific, and CPRA
Brief Description: Previously, the embankment allowed water to flow through it by way of 3 culverts (two 9’ diameter culverts and one 5’ x 6’ box culvert). These culverts did not provide the capacity needed for BLFWD to operate its pump station at its current capacity, and furthermore, prevented BLFWD from progressing on its plan to increase the pumping capacity from the Mississippi River from 500 cfs to over 1,000 cfs. The embankment and culverts were replaced with a fixed span bridge.
Project Name: Saltwater Control Structure (Lockport)
Status: Completed (2016)
Funding Sources: BLFWD, Department of Interior, CPRA, and Lafourche Parish
Cost: $4.2 million
Brief Description: This project involved relocating components of the water control structure previously located in Company Canal along with fabrication necessary for the relocation within Bayou Lafourche just north of the intersection of Bayou Lafourche and Company Canal in Lockport, LA. In addition to preventing saltwater intrusion into Bayou Lafourche, the structure can be closed in low water surface elevation events in order to preserve the water supply for the water purification facilities that rely on Bayou Lafourche to service their 300,000 customers in Ascension, Assumption, Lafourche, and Terrebonne Parishes.
Project Name: North Water Control Structure (Napoleonville)
Status: Completed (2020)
Funding Sources: BLFWD and Delta Regional Authority
Cost: $2.6 million
Brief Description: Located just north of the 1010 bridge (St. Thomas Bridge), the purpose of the structure is to better manage the flow of Bayou Lafourche in decreased pumping capacity events. In addition to a 35’ wide swing gate, the structure includes 4 sluice gates to better regulate the water flow. The structure’s swing gate will remain open for boat traffic unless there is a dire need to protect the water supply in Bayou Lafourche, in which case the gate can be closed temporarily.
Project Name: Thibodaux Weir Removal
Status: In Progress (mid 2021 completion)
Funding Sources: BLFWD and Lafourche Parish Government
Cost: $1.5 million
Brief Description: The Thibodaux weir was constructed in 1969 to create a water reservoir for water treatment facilities and sugar mills north of the weir. While it has served its original purpose, it has not only impeded the flow of water in Bayou Lafourche, but also prevents boat access in Bayou Lafourche which is not only a major impediment to the operations of BLFWD but also a major impediment to the recreational boaters of the bayou region. With the Lockport Water Control Structure in place, and the Assumption Parish Water Control structure recently completed, the water elevations of Bayou Lafourche can be safely managed without needing the weir in Thibodaux. In addition to coastal erosion benefits, removal of the weir will greatly increase the recreational potential in the bayou.
Project Name: New Donaldsonville Pump Station
Status: Design Completed, Construction Funding Secured, Currently in Permitting Stage
Funding Sources: BLFWD and CPRA through the LDEQ Clean Water State Revolving Fund
Cost: $76 million
Brief Description: The new facility, with a minimum pumping capacity of 1,000 cubic feet per second, will be constructed beside the existing 500 cfs pump station which will remain in service, effectively tripling the capacity for fresh water entering the bayou. CPRA has pledged $50 million toward repayment of the loan, using a portion of future Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) revenues CPRA will receive from offshore federal oil and gas leases. The pump station will help to combat saltwater intrusion along our coast and provide fresh drinking water to over 300,000 residents in Assumption, Ascension, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes.