Federal Govt. approves $760 million to fund St. John levee project

Published 1:44 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

WASHINGTON D.C. – St. John the Baptist Parish will receive full funding for the construction of a West Shore hurricane protection levee, according to Parish President Natalie Robottom and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge).

Robottom called it the biggest win in Parish history.

“It will remain so for many years to come,” Robottom said. “Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Graves, a strong will and determination and outstanding relationships with our partners, this project is coming to fruition. Levee protection has been my No. 1 priority since taking office and through hard work, persistence and resolve, what seemed to be an insurmountable feat has been accomplished.”

It was announced that $760 million would be earmarked for the West Shore Hurricane Protection Project, which includes benefits for St. John, St. Charles and St. James parishes.

Graves announced the news today as part of one of the largest flood protection investments in Louisiana history — nearly $3 billion in federal funding for priority flood and hurricane protection projects in south Louisiana.

This includes nearly $1.4 billion in new federal funding and approximately $1.5 billion in recently announced flood protection and mitigation funding.

As Chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, Graves has jurisdiction over the Corps of Engineers and has been working with the White House, Army and Corps leadership on appropriations, expediting projects and realigning priorities.

“This is not a drill,” Graves said. “This is not merely a hope and a prayer. The logjam has been completely broken, and we are getting the best flood protection we’ve ever had.”

On April 5, Graves and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced $1.213 billion in federal flood mitigation funds, which will be applied to additional flood mitigation measures and projects in the Capital Region and throughout Louisiana.

“After our countless meetings and extensive negotiations with Corps leadership and White House officials, Louisiana will take an historic leap forward to tackle historic flood conditions,” Graves said. “This is one of the largest investments in flood protection in Louisiana history. No more studies. We will be turning dirt and protecting our families.”