West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee Project
In response to flooding on the East Bank of St. John the Baptist following events such as Hurricane Isaac – during which I-10 remained submerged and impassible for a number of days and over 7, 000 homes flooded in St. John the Baptist Parish – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fast-tracked an existing study to evaluate the possibility of building a hurricane protection system on the West Shore of Lake Pontchartrain.
The Hurricane and Storm Risk Reduction System for the West Shore of Lake Pontchartrain, completed in August 2013, recommended construction of an 18-mile levee with four pump stations. The levee would begin at the west guide levee of the Bonnet Carré Spillway, extend to Hope Canal, then head south toward the Mississippi River Levee. The West Shore levee will protect the communities of Montz, LaPlace, Reserve and Garyville.
After more than 40 years, the project was awarded funding in July 2018.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District recently awarded the first of two vegetation and tree clearing contracts for work related to the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Risk Reduction Project (WSLP) in St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes.
The $3.06M contract was awarded to Quality First Construction LLC., a locally owned-small business from Covington, LA. Work is expected to begin next month and take approximately six months to complete. The second vegetation and tree clearing contract will be awarded later this summer.
Clearing the project area of vegetation and trees will allow crews to access the area to complete land surveys and collect soil borings. The surveys and boring samples will be used to determine the final levee alignment and design plan.
The $760M WSLP was funded by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and will provide risk reduction for approximately 60,000 people on the east bank of the Mississippi River in St. Charles, St. John and St. James parishes. The final design plan will consist of 18 miles of levee, t-walls, pump stations, and additional drainage structures. The first construction contract is expected to be awarded in mid-2020 and the project is expected to be completed in 2024