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Comite River Diversion

Official Project Name

Flood Control, Amite River and Tributaries, Louisiana, Comite Riverr Basin, Comite River Diversion Project

 

Location

The Comite River is a right bank tributary of the Amite River, with a confluence near the city of Denham Springs, east of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Comite River Basin comprises approximately 348 square miles and includes portions of Wilkinson and Amite Counties in Mississippi, and East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes in Louisiana. The project is located between the Comite and the Mississippi Rivers north of the town of Baker, Louisiana and south of the town of Zachary, Louisiana.

On 27 August 1991, the Chief of Engineers signed a report for the Amite River and Tributaries, Comite River Diversion, Louisiana, recommending construction of a 12 mile long diversion channel from the Comite River to the Mississippi River. The primary project features include a control structure at the Comite River, a control structure at Lilly Bayou, three control drop structures at the intersections of the diversion channel with White, Cypress and Baton Rouge Bayous, a drop control structure in the vicinity of McHugh Road, two railroad bridges and five highway or parish road bridges

Flood problems within the basin are caused by the excessive rainfall that results in headwater and backwater overflow in the lower reaches of the Amite River and the tributary streams in the vicinity of their confluence with the Amite River. Historically, most of the flooding was confined to swampland and to rural, sparsely populated, largely wooded areas with only scattered agricultural usage. The Baton Rouge metropolitan area has expanded further into the floodplain to accommodate population growth. 

 
The 1983 flood was the flood of record in most of the basin. Flood stages reached the highest level at 8 recorded locations along the Amite River and its tributaries. Over 357,000 acres were inundated in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Iberville, Ascension, St. James, and St. John the Baptist Parishes. About 5,300 homes and 200 businesses were flooded. Flood damages were estimated to be about $172 million, of the $172 million, $113 million or 66 percent were attributable to flood damages in urban areas. Flood damages in the Comite River sub-basin were estimated at $48,000,000. The August 2016 Flood far exceeded the flood of record within the basin. Approximately, 109,000 homes flooded in Louisiana of which 79,000 homes were located in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish. Flood damages were estimated at $3.8 billion in residential property damage; $2.3 billion occurring in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish.

Project Purpose
The Project is located in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA in the southern portion of the Comite River Basin. The features will provide urban flood damage reduction to reduce risks from rainfall events/headwater flooding for residents in the area.

Project Features
The primary project features include a control structure at the Comite River, a control structure at Lilly Bayou, three control drop structures at the intersections of the diversion channel with White, Cypress and Baton Rouge Bayous, a drop control structure in the vicinity of McHugh Road, two railroad bridges, four highway bridges and one parish road bridge.

Project Status

Below is the primary focus of the project at this time:
- Perform all utility relocations beginning with Hwy. 61 project feature
- Finalize design and award construction contract for Hwy. 61 project feature
- Execute new Project Partnership Agreement
- Continue land acquisition
- Acquire remaining mitigation
- Initiate/complete design and award construction contracts for all subsequent project features