Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between Apalachee Bay, Florida and Mexican Border (U.S. Army Engineer District, New Orleans)
GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY BETWEEN APALACHEE BAY, FLA.,
AND THE MEXICAN BORDER
CONDITION OF IMPROVEMENT, 30 SEPTEMBER 1989
River and Harbor Act of 24 July 1946, Senate Document 242, 79th Congress, 2nd Session, and prior R&H Acts, provide for a waterway 384.1 miles long, 12 feet deep and 125 feet wide at mean low gulf from Lake Borgne Light No. 29 (formerly No. 41), near the mouth of the Rigolets to the Sabine River, Louisiana and Texas, except in the section between Lake Borgne Light No. 29 and New Orleans (33.1 miles long via land cut through the marsh and the Industrial Canal) where a width of 150 feet is provided. An alternate route 40.5 miles long, 9 feet deep by 100 feet wide between Lake Borgne Light No. 29 and New Orleans *via Rigolets, Lake Pontchartrain, and Industrial Canal), an alternate connection with the Mississippi River below Algiers approximately 9 miles long, 12 feet deep and 125 feet wide with a lock (Algiers Lock) at the river end; an alternate route 12 feet deep and 125 feet wide from Morgan City, Louisiana to Port Allen, Louisiana via the East Atchafalaya Basin Protection Levee borrow Pit, Bayou Sorrel Lock (constructed with MR&T funds), Lower Grand River and Bayou Plaquemine to Indian Village thence via Bayou Grosse Tete and new land cut to the Mississippi River passing through a terminal lock in levee at Port Allen opposite Baton Rouge; a channel 9 feet deep and 100 feet wide from Indian Village via Bayou Plaquemine to Plaquemine, Louisiana, improvement of Franklin Canal as a connecting channel from GIWW (mile 121) to Franklin, Louisiana, 8 feet deep by 60 feet wide, with its upper 300 feet having a width of 100 feet. The construction of a lock at Harvey, Louisiana (Harvey Lock), a saltwater guard lock (Leland Bowman Lock) in the waterway at mile 182.8 west of Harvey lock, a saltwater guard lock (Calcasieu Lock) in the waterway at mile 238.5 west of Harvey Lock, and a lock at mile 93.5 (Bayou Boeuf Lock) west of Harvey Lock, constructed under the existing project, "Flood Control, Mississippi River and Tributaries". The project also provides for the following: Widening of bends, passing places, mooring basins, such as railroad and highway bridges over artificial cuts as are necessary; purchase of pipeline dredge; construction and operation of new drainage canals and pumping facilities to restore parish drainage systems where intercepted; construction of a double leaf bascule four-lane highway bridge* with approaches at Louisiana State Highway No. 47; construction of movable bridges at M.P.R.R. and Louisiana State Highway Nos. 23** and 406; fixed trestle bridges for crossing of proposed landside drainage canals, lift bridges at Louisiana State Highway No. 1*** at Port Allen, Louisiana, T&P R.R. at Port Allen, Louisiana, T&P.R.R. at Morley, Louisiana; construction of bulkheads and jetties at Lake Borgne and Chef Menteur, Louisiana, if found necessary, and for annual payments to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans for use of a portion of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal and Lock. The length of waterway within the U.S. Army Engineer District, New Orleans, is 384.1 miles via the northerly or Port Allen route and 299.4 miles via the southerly or Harvey Canal route.
Modification authorized by River and Harbor Act of 23 October 1962, House Document 556, 87th Congress, 2nd Session, provides for a channel 16 feet deep and 150 feet wide from the Mississippi River to Atchafalaya River, via Algiers Canal, except in the vicinity of Houma, La. , (mile 50.5 to 63-5); a by-pass route at Houma; a channel 16 feet deep and 200 feet wide through the reach from Atchafalaya River to the Sabine River; and four highway bridges (United States to contribute 58% of construction costs).
Replacement of the Vermilion Lock under the Provisions of Section 6 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 3 March 1909 was approved by the Secretary of the Army on 16 May 1967 (See Sheet 1-45A).
*Construction of this bridge has become unnecessary under this project due to the fact that the portion of the project over which the bridge was to be constructed has been incorporated in the project, "Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet," which provides for a fixed high level bridge. [See Sheet 1-19(2b)]
**In lieu of the bridge at State Highway No. 23, a tunnel was constructed and completed 15 February 1956. Additional cost over estimated cost of bridge was borne by local interests.
***In lieu of a lift bridge at La. State Hwy. No. 1 at Port Allen, a 4-lane fixed bridge was constructed by Department of Highway, State of Louisiana in accordance with Public Law 85- 167, 85th Congress (F.Y. 1958 Appropriation Act) approved 26 August 1957, which contained the following proviso: "Provided further, that not to exceed $3,500,000 of the funds hereinafter provided for the Plaquemine-Morgan City Alternate Route, shall be available for the construction of a 4-lane, high level fixed bridge on Louisiana State highway number 1 (formerly Route No. 167) over the extension of the Plaquemine-Morgan City Route of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in West Baton Rouge Parish Louisiana."
To provide an inland waterway for barge traffic.
Range of tide, 10 to 14 inches . A severe storm may cause a high tide of from 6 feet to 9 feet.
Progress of Work
The main stem of the waterway as authorized under R & H Act of 24 July 1946 was completed to a 12-foot depth in 1944.
The remaining work to be done consists of: Enlarging the waterway, as provided by modification authorized 23 October 1962, House Document 556, 87th Congress, 2nd Session and any deferred construction that may be required under agreement for relocation of railroad facilities. The construction of bulkheads and jetties at Lake Borgne and Chef Menteur, La. are no longer necessary. This Feature was reviewed and deauthorized on 2 November 1979 under the Deauthorization Review Program.
The project as modified is 61% complete. Relocation of the waterway at Chef Menteur-Pass was completed in Feb. 1972 and construction of the Leland Bowman Lock (Vermilion Lock replacement) was completed in March 1985.
Last Revised: 1993