US Army Corps of Engineers
New Orleans District

Bayou Sorrel Lock

Official Project Name
Bayou Sorrel Lock, Louisiana

Location
Bayou Sorrel Lock is located in the East Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee (EABPL) about 20 miles south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in Iberville Parish.

Purpose
The purpose of this study is to develop a plan for modifying Bayou Sorrel Lock to safely pass the project flood in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway and to determine the feasibility of increasing the capacity of the lock to reduce delays to barge tows on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway system.

Status

The Chief of Engineers' Report approved the recommendations, 3 January 2005. The Mississippi River Commission concurred with the recommendations of feasibility report, 27 September 2004. The costs of construction of the inland navigation improvements of the project are to be paid half from amounts appropriated from the general fund of the Treasury and half from amounts appropriated from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The remainder of the proposed modification of the Bayou Sorrel Lock project allocated to safely pass the project flood in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway is a feature of the authorized Flood Control, Mississippi River and Tributaries project, and as such, no additional implementing authority is required.

Benefit to the Community & Project Features

The Lock is an integral feature of the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana Project feature of the Mississippi River and Tributaries project. The project flood flow line was revised because of changes and projected changes in the Atchafalaya Basin. The top of wall of Bayou Sorrel Lock is 8 feet below the project flood design grade. The lock is stable for its original design loading conditions and is in good operating condition; however, the structure cannot be raised to accommodate the higher flow line. In addition there is a need to increase the capacity of Bayou Sorrel Lock to reduce the cost to navigation caused by delays at the lock, which averaged 4.7 hours per tow in 1999 and are projected to climb to12.7 hours by the year 2010. The existing dimensions of Bayou Sorrel Lock are 56 feet wide by 797 feet long, making it one of the smallest locks in the system. The feasibility report completed in December 2003 recommends that a new lock with dimensions of 75 by 1,200 feet be constructed adjacent to the existing lock and that the existing lock be closed with an earthen levee. The total estimated cost of the recommended plan is $97,500,000, of which $93,000,000 would be Federal appropriations and $4,500,000 would be paid from the Inland Waterway Trust Fund.

Authority

The Bayou Sorrel Lock, Louisiana feasibility study is being conducted in accordance with the following resolutions and previously authorized projects: a. A resolution adopted by the Committee on Public Works of the United States Senate on September 29, 1972, at the request of Senators Long and Edwards of Louisiana, which states that the: “. . .Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, be, and is hereby, requested to review the reports on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Louisiana-Texas Section, including the Morgan City-Port Allen Route) submitted in House Document 556, 87th Congress, Second Session, and subsequent reports, with a view to determining the advisability of modifying the existing project in any way at this time, particularly with regard to widening and deepening the existing and/or authorized channel.” b. A resolution adopted by the Committee on Public Works of the United States House of Representatives on October 12, 1972, at the request of Congressman Jack Brooks of Texas, which states that the: “. . . Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, be, and is hereby, requested to review the reports on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (Louisiana-Texas Section, including the Morgan City-Port Allen Route) submitted in House Document 556, 87th Congress, Second Session, and subsequent reports, with a view to determining the advisability of modifying the existing project in any way at this time, particularly with regard to widening and deepening the existing and/or authorized channel.” c. The Flood Control Act of 1928 (Public Law 70-391), as amended, authorized the Flood Control, Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, including the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana project feature. Bayou Sorrel Lock is a feature of the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana project. d. WRDA 2007 (P.L. 110-114) authorized the incremental navigation component at a total cost of $9,600,000. The cost is allocated on a 50/50 basis between the Federal government and the Inland Waterway Trust Fund

Scope

The scope of this feasibility study is limited to the development of measures to pass the project flood in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway at Bayou Sorrel Lock and to the feasibility of capacity increases only at Bayou Sorrel Lock.