Levee district moves construction forward
By: JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
MORGAN CITY — The St. Mary Levee District focused on construction projects in the Franklin Canal and in Bayou Chene at Thursday’s meeting.
The work in the Franklin Canal will take place just south of U.S. 90 and the boat landing. The project calls for the construction of 900 feet of earthen levee and a floodgate with a 40-foot opening.
“We finalized land rights, and now we can move forward going from advertising (for bids for the work) going to construction. The state is actually going to be doing the engineering itself,” said Hilary Thibodeaux, executive director of the St. Mary Levee District.
Representatives of Shaw Construction explained proposals of the work to be done on the flood control structure just southeast of Amelia where Bayou Chene makes a sharp turn. The proposed structure would be on the west side of the turn, opposite where the Intracoastal Waterway branches eastward toward Houma.
“We did a temporary project for the spring flood of 2011, and we brought our engineers on board, Shaw, T Baker Smith, and Miller,” Thibodeaux said. “Tonight, we actually had … to fine-tune the location, the type of structure, and getting one step closer to being implemented.”
Another item discussed was, according to Thibodeaux, a milestone in the history of the young St. Mary Levee District.
“We did a pretty large maintenance project for limestone for the existing roads on top of the levee. The milestone here is that that’s actually our first bid project,” Thibodeaux said.
Thibodeaux also said at the meeting that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going to study the backwater flooding east of the Avoca Levee southeast of Morgan City, and that if it determines that the flooding was “caused by federal action” in the form of the opening of the Morganza Spillway last spring, a federally-funded project could be authorized to protect the area from backwater flooding.