“In a year, most of our contracted work will be done,” said a confident Windell Curole, at Monday’s South Lafourche Levee District (SLLD) general meeting, referring to work in progress on levee protection in south Lafourche.
As a general overview, Curole noted that some 50% of the ring levee system around the Tenth Ward is presently under some kind of construction.
Work is being done, he said, to raise the levees an average of 2.5 to 5-feet in many places.
Specifically, a project to raise a section of the levee from Golden Meadow to upper Cut Off on the west side is near Basson’s boat launch and should be at the upper end of the project by spring of 2014, according to engineer Joe Picciola.
Also, levee heightening in east Larose/Delta Farms will be completed in about 2 months, said Neal Angelette, who is overseeing that work.
A future project is in the planning stage to raise a portion of the levee behind the LOOP facility in Galliano from 12-ft. to 15-ft., said Curole.
He again disappointingly noted the low area at the Larose Floodwall as the weak link in the protection system. Although $12 million in Louisiana capital outlay funding is available for the work to improve the wall, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has told SLLD to get the necessary rights of way, the Corps continues to stall the project by its request for more information.
On many occasions, SLLD has answered the Corps endless questions regarding the wall project.
“We met with the Corps again last week,” said Curole. “Now they want more proof that water was seeping through the wall during Hurricane Rita. We saw it. It’s stupid stuff,” said Curole.
The Corps is requiring two separate permits for wall improvement.
One, called a “404” permit, is necessary because material may be dredged into or from a navigable waterway. In this case it is the Intracoastal Waterway. Although the area is less than one acre, and this type of permit has been issued by the Corps on countless occasions, the permit has not been received.
The other permit, a “408”, is required because of proposed improvements to the height of the wall.
“Because we are raising a wall, which the Corps built, above the current 8-ft. height, we need the permission of the main Corps office in Washington DC,” Curole said.
This permit could take 2 to 4 months to acquire.
President Ronald Callais asked if capital outlay money will run out due to delays.
Curole assured the SLLD board that funding will “stay around” for a longer time.
As in past discussions about the wall project, Curole promised that SLLD will go through with the work even without Corps approval.
“If they don’t follow through, we will,” he stated.
Posted on Fri, September 13, 2013