St. Mary Parish set to receive $2.7M for flood protection improvements

St. Mary Parish set to receive $2.7M for flood protection improvements

Information provided by Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

BATON ROUGE, LA - Work to improve an area serving as flood protection in the Morgan City area will soon begin with the provision of $2.7 million in funding from the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) toward engineering, design and construction costs.

"CPRA is pleased to provide funding to St. Mary Parish in support of continued work necessary to achieve 100-year level of flood protection," said CPRA Chairman Johnny Bradberry. "When we combine efforts and resources, great things happen."

In collaboration with the St. Mary Parish Government and the St. Mary Levee District, the St. Mary Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 2 is managing this project to increase protection and sustainability by adding elevation to a half-mile stretch of land beneath the road bed of Highway 70, an important evacuation route that serves as a levee near Lake End Park. The Drainage District awarded the $2.7 million construction contract to Barriere Construction of Metairie and work is expected to begin in October.

This effort is part of the parish master plan for comprehensive improvements to the Morgan City levee system to provide a 100-year level of flood protection, and is consistent with CPRA's Coastal Master Plan goals and principles. Located at the southern end of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway, St. Mary Parish is in danger of inundation when water is diverted into the basin to relieve pressure on Mississippi River levees. Additionally, storm water runoffs from the Atchafalaya and Lake Verret Basins, as well as storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico, pose a risk to people, property and industry.

"I'm proud of the cooperation and teamwork of the parish, the levee district, the drainage district and the state CPRA," said St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff. "This is a model for how, working together, we can get things done."

CPRA is working with the St. Mary Parish Consolidated Gravity District No. 2 on other increments of levee improvement, including currently providing $6.2 million for the engineering, design, and construction of a 2.5 mile levee stretch immediately south of the LA 70 improvement project. The 2.5 mile stretch is now under construction and scheduled for completion next spring.