NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), will undertake $122 million in work to address Hurricane Ida-related damage to the Grand Isle Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction Project.
“Congress has made a significant commitment to address the damages experienced from back-to-back record hurricane seasons,” said Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the USACE New Orleans District. “We are eager to work in partnership with CPRA to deliver this commitment to the people that live and work on Grand Isle.”
"This news could not be more timely for Grand Isle, whose people faced some of Hurricane Ida's worst impacts," said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. "Over $120 million will go toward continuing the recovery process and ensuring improved protection measures are in place ahead of stronger storms and severe weather."
The repairs will begin in August 2022 with installing interim risk reduction measures by placing supersack sandbags at 12 locations along the dune. This work will be followed by a contract to install 2,200-foot stone dune core on the western end of the project, repair damages to the existing breakwaters, and repair the western jetty. This contract is scheduled to be executed in early 2023.
Additionally, 21,000 feet of clay-filled geotextile tube will be installed along the western portion of the project, damages to the eastern sand-filled geotube addressed, and the overall 7-mile dune and beach restored.
"The Grand Isle project not only includes repairs to the burrito levee, but the addition of over 2,000 feet of stone core dune on the island's western end and the installation of a clay core for 4 miles of the dune," said CPRA Executive Director Bren Haase. "These elements will work together to provide integrated protection, and we're grateful for the collaboration that made this progress possible."
The repairs will be in addition to work currently underway. Congress included $15 million in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to construct risk reduction features on the barrier island. These funds were used to construct five breakwaters and undertake beach nourishment. Upon completion, the remaining funds are now being used to construct an adjacent sixth breakwater.
Congress and the Administration also included appropriations in the post-Ida Disaster Relief Supplement Appropriation Act of 2022 to investigate sustainable and more resilient approaches to reducing risk for Grand Isle. Completion of a general reevaluation report will take approximately three years and cost $3 million. Upon finalization of the feasibility cost share agreement between USACE and CPRA, the study will open with scoping meetings to gather feedback from residents and stakeholders.