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Construction on West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project begins

RESERVE – This week, St. John the Baptist Parish President Jaclyn Hotard and Council joined Governor Edwards along with federal, state and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony on the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection system.
The $760 million project will span 18.5 miles, including 17.5 miles of levees, one mile of T-wall, drainage structures, pump stations and several non-structural protection measures to form an integrated protection system. The project will provide 100-year hurricane and storm surge protection to 60,000 residents in St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. The structure will span from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi River Levee near Garyville and provide storm surge protection and improved resilience on the western shores of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
“The River Parishes represent some of the most vibrant and vital areas in the state,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “With the completion of the West Shore project, thousands of Louisianans and millions of dollars of residential and commercial property will receive a much-deserved increase in their level of hurricane protection. Today’s event is a testament to the dedication of CPRA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pontchartrain Levee District and all those who worked tirelessly to make this important project a reality.”
Louisiana Representative Garret Graves said, “This project dates back to before I was born. We’re cutting through the bureaucracy and red tape, and the people in the River Parishes are finally going to get the flood protection they deserve. Dirt is turning, and we will be protecting our families, homes, businesses and communities.
“It will lower flood insurance rates and lure economic development and jobs to the region. The West Shore Project will ultimately make St. John, St. Charles and St. James parishes safer places to raise a family. This is exactly how we invest in our infrastructure before a storm rather than after the fact – spending much more on disaster recovery.”

As chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, Graves had jurisdiction over the Corps of Engineers at the time and had been working with the White House and Army Corps Leadership on appropriations, expediting projects such as West Shore. In 2018, Graves announced 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 – including the full $760 million for the West Shore Project.

“Today’s groundbreaking marks a significant milestone for much-needed flood protection in St. John the Baptist Parish,” said Parish President Hotard. “Construction of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Levee project is a critical step forward in protecting thousands of residents and businesses from coastal flooding and ensuring a more resilient community for many generations to come.”
For more information, visit https://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/…/West-Shore-Lake…/