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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Levee work won’t affect boat launch

Levee work won’t affect boat launch

Levee work at the site of Pump Station #2 (Bason’s) will not hinder access to the nearby boat launch, says the South Lafourche Levee District (SLLD).

This is good news for fishermen and shrimpers who use the popular launch to access the marshes west of Bayou Lafourche, especially as inshore shrimping season is set to open on May 23rd.

The levee improvement, called the Bason Pump Station Area Seepage Project, is an effort to repair a leak in the levee which SLLD has identified as a potential problem.

In 2015, levee employees noticed wet areas on the inside of the levee. An investigation by SLLD found that water on the outside of the levee is seeping under the levee, causing possible damage to the levee’s base.

Under normal conditions, there is a difference of over 6-feet in water elevation from outside to inside of the levee system. A wet levee could sag or slough, causing major damage in that area.

SLLD has decided to drive sheet piles into the levee, from Pump Station #2 and going south for approximately 950 feet to prevent water from continuing to leech through the levee foundation.

At present, Sealevel Construction, Inc. is beginning the process of driving the sheet piles just north of the launch access road over the levee.

Workers have limited traffic to one lane over the levee and will flag boaters and others as they access the launch until piles are driven under the roadway, says project engineer Neil Angelette of Angelette-Picciola, LLC.

The work will cost about $1.2 million and will finish in August.

At Monday’s SLLD public meeting in Galliano SLLD General Manager Windell Curole explained: “During Hurricane Juan in 1985, the levee was overtopped in that area, creating a 30-foot deep hole. The blowout was repaired by the Corps of Engineers using shells and sheet piles. The new sheet piles we are installing now will stop water from getting to the shells,” he said.

The project has begun with some scraping of the top of the levee before piles of about 40-feet long and will be driven down. The piles will not be visible once material is sloped back on top of the levee.

Also on Monday, board members approved the first pay request by the contractor for the materials and coating costs of about $860,000.