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Corps meeting set on hurricane levee

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / September 16, 1998

RESERVE – A public meeting is set Thursday at East St. John High School toreview ideas for a hurricane protection levee, which would extend from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the St. James/Ascension parishes line.The meeting will be at East St. John High School’s gymnasium, starting at7 p.m.The study area, with a population of more than 35,000 people, is exposed to possible tidal surge from Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas and, according to a June 1997 review from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,more than 4,000 residences are at risk from tidal flooding.

Therefore, the Corps moved toward developing an environmental impact statement and feasibility study, working with the Pontchartrain Levee District, according to a statement issued last week by Corps spokesman John Hall.

Three alternative alignments were evaluated in the initial review.

Both begin at the west guide levee of the Spillway, two miles south of the Lake Pontchartrain shoreline. Each end at Airline Highway near theReserve Relief Canal, but they vary on either end of the project.

“We’re hoping to gather information and knowledge,” Hall said. “We’re nottrying to debate the question.”Questions to be discussed include: What are the most important issues, resources, and impacts that we should consider in the environmental impact statement? Are there any other alternatives or modifications to existing alternatives that we should consider in the environmental impact statement? The comments received from the public will be included in a “scoping document,” which will be made available to the public. In addition tocomments made at the meeting, written comments will also be accepted by letters dated not later than 30 days afterward.

Questions regarding the feasibility study should be addressed to Study Manager Brett H. Herr, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Planning, Programsand Project Management Division, CEMVN-PM-W, P.O. Box 60267, NewOrleans, La. 70160-0267.Environmental concerns should be addressed to Dr. William P. Klein Jr.,CEMVN-PM-RS, P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, La. 70160-0267.

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