FRANKLIN, La. (AP) — Work is set to begin on part of an $80 million project intended to help control backwater flooding in several southeastern Louisiana parishes.
Contractor Sealevel Construction Inc. received approval from officials in St. Mary Parish last week to begin constructing a permanent barge that would be placed in Bayou Chene to block water that backs up when the Atchafalaya River is high, news outlets reported.
Officials have said the 400-foot (122-meter) barge gate would be swung into place when needed. In the past, a temporary barge has been submerged in the bayou to prevent flooding.
The barge is one part of the floodgate project, which will also include the construction of a flood wall and a levee.
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced last year that the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority would fund the project through a revenue-sharing agreement that gives gulf states money from oil and gas developments off their shores.