Pipeline to carry sediment to Barataria Basin

BATON ROUGE. (AP) — Construction on a 13-mile pipeline that will deliver Mississippi River sediment into the Barataria Basin to create coastal land could start later this year.

The sediment pipeline project involves building a structure over the Mississippi River levee that will cross under Louisiana Highway 23 and a railroad, which will stay in place. A contractor will then build a pipeline that will go south and southwest from the river to support the Bayou Dupont Ridge Creation and Marsh Restoration project and the Long Distance Sediment Pipeline project in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes.

“We’re going to take sand out of the river and put it where it’s needed,” said Kenneth Bahlinger, state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority project manager.

About 8.2 million cubic yards of material will be mined from the river.

Although there are three borrow sites in the river that have been permitted, it’s estimated the projects will only require the use of one of those sites, Bahlinger said. It will take about two years to complete the projects.

“It mimics what Mother Nature is doing in the first place,” Bahlinger said of how the river used to build land along the coast before the levees were built and contained the river floods. “And it’s a renewable resource.”

The state is working on a final plan and project specifications with the hope the project will be put out for bid in February with a notice to proceed to construction released in May, Bahlinger said.

The Bayou Dupont project will create 196 acres of marsh and nourish 93 acres of existing marsh. At the other project, an estimated 415 acres of marsh will be created, Bahlinger said.

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