The West Shore Lake Pontchartrain project is located in southeast Louisiana on the east-bank of the Mississippi River in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes in Southeast LA. The West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Chief’s report was published in June 2016 and the project has been included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Over 60,000 people in the 3 parish study area have little to no hurricane risk reduction in place. Additionally, the dominant evacuation route for the New Orleans metropolitan area (I-10) bisects the study area. During Hurricane Isaac, storm surge inundated approximately 7,000 homes and the interstate was submerged for several days slowing emergency response across the region. The Project will construct a 100 year level risk reduction system extending from the Bonnet Carre spillway to Garyville.
The $760 million project is approximately 18.5 miles in length and includes 17.5 miles of levee, 1 mile of T-wall, 4 pumping stations, 2 drainage structures, and approximately 35 utility relocations. The project will also provide localized risk reduction measures focused in St. James Parish. The project will include mitigation to offset unavoidable environmental impacts.
The project design team continues to work with the Non-Federal sponsor to acquire Rights of Entry (ROE) and complete field investigations via soil borings and other environmental assessment. Vegetation clearing is currently underway. Coordination efforts are taking place to design the project’s western end most efficiently to correspond with the State’s Maurepas Diverson project. Detailed design work is to begin by late 2019 with initial stage contracts being awarded as early as 2020.