Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following statement regarding the announcement of full funding for the Comite River Diversion project:
“For nearly three decades, construction of the Comite River Diversion canal has been tied up because of red tape from the federal government. Today, that wait is over. After multiple meetings with both the Obama and Trump Administrations, we are taking a historic step forward with this critical project. In a meeting with the Trump Administration earlier this year, we committed significant state resources to jump start this project, in addition to committing that the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development would construct the four vehicle bridges that are needed.
"Once complete, this project will play one of the most significant roles in our flood mitigation efforts. Overall, the state of Louisiana is set to receive a significant investment for our flood mitigation efforts. I want to thank the Trump Administration and our congressional delegation, particularly the leadership of Rep. Graves, for working with us to finally begin construction on this and other critical projects.”
On April 25, Gov. Edwards, Secretary Shawn Wilson and Rep. Garret Graves met with Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to discuss funding options for the Comite River Diversion Canal Project. This was one of several meetings the governor has had in order to see this project through to completion.
The state also requested full funding immediately after the floods in 2016. This administration cemented its support when Gov. Edwards personally visited Major General Semonite in September of 2017. The offer for completing the structures through DOTD was born at a breakfast meeting the governor hosted at the Mansion with Gen. Semonite, after which many of the projects that have received funding were toured by state and Corps officials.