The Mississippi River Reintroduction into Bayou Lafourche (MRRBL) Project has an overall goal to divert 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of fresh water from the Mississippi River into Bayou Lafourche. Though initial studies of the project began in the early ‘90s, the project has progressed substantially since the recommended alternative was identified in the document entitled “Final Phase 2 Design Report, Mississippi River Water Reintroduction Into Bayou Lafourche” dated March 2006 by CH2MHill (Final Phase 2 Design Report). This report concluded that the most cost-effective approach to achieve the project’s overall goal included the following project features: new pump station in Donaldsonville, dredging the bayou from Donaldsonville to Thibodaux, replacement of Union Pacific Railroad Bridge, bridge modifications, utility relocations, new water control structures, and the removal of the weir in Thibodaux.
In response to significant water quality problems within Bayou Lafourche as a result of Hurricane Gustav’s devastation, the State of Louisiana (State), through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), implemented The Emergency Bayou Channel Capacity Restoration Project. This project, which has come to be known as Phase 1 of MRRBL, was substantially completed in November 2011 and it included dredging the first five (5) miles of Bayou Lafourche beginning in Donaldsonville.
To continue on with the progress made in Phase 1of MRRBL, in 2012 the State, through CPRA, allocated to the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District (BLFWD) $20 million of Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP) funds for the Mississippi River Reintroduction to Bayou Lafourche Project (State Project BA-0161). This project, which has come be known as Phase 2 of MRRBL, began in April 2013 when T. Baker Smith, LLC (TBS) was contracted by BLFWD to provide professional services for the implementation of the project. The purpose of this project is to implement features and improvements identified by and in accordance with the Final Phase 2 Design Report determined to be the most beneficial in order to improve the capacity of Bayou Lafourche to allow for increased flows through the bayou to benefit the Terrebonne and Barataria Basins through reductions in the salinities and/or nourishment of wetlands with the introduction and distribution of sediment and nutrients from the river.
- Data Analysis and Recommendation Report