EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Congressman Garret Graves, House Water Resources chairman, announced Monday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will provide $14 million worth of federal funding to the Comite River Diversion Canal project.
Graves has been negotiating with the Corps, the White House, and through legislative efforts in the House to fully fund the Comite project, as well as other flood protection projects throughout the area.
"Since 2015, we've continued to push the Corps on Comite, resulting in $37 million of dedicated Work Plan funding for the project over the last three and a half years. This $14 million is an important installment, but it's not enough. We are working right now to get this project fully funded and completed, and it will happen, mark my words," said Graves.
Senator Bill Cassidy also responded to Monday's announcement.
"These navigation and flood mitigation projects are important to Louisiana's economy and families," said Cassidy. "This plan funds flood mitigation projects like the next phase of the Comite River Diversion and ongoing waterway protection efforts. I continue to work with local and state officials to make these projects happen."
The full U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FY 2018 Work Plan includes:
- $14 million to complete the next phase of the Comite River Diversion project
- $9.479 million for Houma Navigation Canal to enable the Port of Terrebonne to dredge the navigational channel to maintain its authorized depth level of 15 feet
- $51.789 million for dredging and other structural and navigational repairs for the Atchafalaya River Basin under MR&T Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding
- $15.645 million under O&M funding for dredging of the Atchafalaya River and Bayous Chene, Boeuf, and Black
- $17.5 million for planning, engineering, and design for evaluation of the floodgate at Charenton
- $34.556 million for maintenance and dredging repairs to the Calcasieu River bar channel as well as other structural repairs along the channel
- $101.929 million for maintenance dredging of Southwest Pass and other areas along the Mississippi River, as well as other structural and navigational repairs
- $1.5 million available for East Baton Rouge Parish for construction of a pump station
- Federal funding for wastewater infrastructure improvement projects in Ascension, Livingston, and Iberia parishes
And Senator John Kennedy also expressed his pleasure at the announcement.
"Louisiana is sorely lacking in flood control and protection. The Comite River Diversion Canal and the Houma Navigation Canal are just two examples of projects that need funding so homeowners can sleep without worry at night," said Kennedy. "That's why I am pleased to announce more than $323 million in funding for our state's water infrastructure projects. These funds will go a long way towards helping Louisiana."