Corps of Engineers Recommends 100-year Levee for St. Charles Parish
Published 1:02 pm Friday, February 4, 2022
Upper Barataria Basin Study recommended for Congressional approval
HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell received confirmation that Lt. Gen. Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers, approved the Chief’s Report for the Upper Barataria Basin Louisiana Feasibility Study, paving the way for the project to move forward. Earlier this year, Congress signed a $2.5 billion Hurricane Ida relief bill that included $8 million for the preconstruction engineering and design phase on the UBB project, which can now begin. The project must now go to Congress for final approval and federal funding.
“The Upper Barataria Basin project will provide 100-year flood protection to the West Bank of St. Charles Parish,” said President Matthew Jewell. “By addressing vulnerabilities in our current flood protection system and building this levee, we will protect thousands of residences and billions of dollars of infrastructure vital to our parish and the nation.”
The multi-year project protects 800 square miles from storm surge for six parishes, including St. Charles Parish. The proposed structural alignment consists of 30 miles of levees spanning from the Davis Diversion to Highway 308 in Lafourche Parish, floodwalls, barge gates and drainage structures.
Levees in St. Charles Parish, currently at 7.5 feet, would be elevated and provide the same protection other federally recognized levees receive, which could lead to lower flood insurance rates for the area.
Jewell notes, “This project has been many years in the making, and today marks a big milestone for the project. Members of our Council, Levee Project Manager Sam Scholle, CPRA , the Corps of Engineers, and members of our Congressional delegation, including Congressman Garret Graves, have all played a significant role in championing flood protection measures for our region.”
The Upper Barataria Basin Study received authorization in 1998; however, funding was not made available to the project until 2018. The $1.55 billion investment is anticipated to take three years to complete once approved by Congress.