Gov. Edwards today joined local and state officials to cut the ribbon on a recently completed $30 million levee-enhancement project in Jefferson Parish, the first in a series of projects that will protect the greater Lafitte-Barataria-Crown Point community from tidal surge flooding and other extreme weather events.
The project includes 2.9 miles of concrete-capped steel sheet pile flood walls, earthen levees, and nine flood gates that have been elevated to 7.5 feet in Lafitte’s 453-acre Fisher School Basin.
“It’s a great day for the people of Lafitte as we cut the ribbon on this critical flood protection project,” said Gov. Edwards. “We worked long and hard to make this project a reality, combining various surplus funds from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the Department of Transportation and Development, state Capital Outlay funds, and the Lafitte Area Independent Levee District. And, I’m pleased to say, the project came in $3.2 million under budget."
Nine more tidal protection projects are planned for the area, with the Rosethorne Basin project expected to be advertised for bid later this year. In all, more than $300 million will be spent on the construction of flood protection features for 10 basins. Together, they will form a flood risk-reduction system comprised of 29 miles of levees, flood walls, and gated structures surrounding more than eight square miles and protecting approximately 5,400 residents.
“The completion of this project reflects our ongoing commitment to protecting the people of Lafitte,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “But today’s announcement is just the beginning. We are committed to completing the levee system around Lafitte so that its residents have strong flood protection structures in place for years to come.”
Before being elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, Timothy Kerner endured 17 hurricanes and tropical storms during his seven terms as mayor of Jean Lafitte. He has advocated tirelessly for additional storm protection.
“I am so excited to see the first ring complete,” said Rep. Kerner. “This is the beginning of many years of hard work coming together to give the people of Lafitte, Barataria, and Crown Point the protection they need and deserve.”
Timothy Kerner, Jr. was recently elected to follow in his father’s footstep as mayor of Jean Lafitte. He grew up watching his father lead residents through troubling times, and he is ready to see the series of projects through to completion.
“The Fisher Basin Levee completion is a monumental step forward for the preservation of the communities of Lafitte, Barataria, and Crown Point,” said Mayor Kerner.
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng witnessed state and local entities struggle through years of difficulty to come up with a solution, and she applauded the teamwork of all involved.
“I’d like to thank Governor John Bel Edwards, CPRA, the Lafitte Area Independent Levee District and Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner, Jr. for their leadership in making sure flood risk reduction projects planned for the Jean Lafitte area of Jefferson Parish continue to move forward to protect the community from floodwaters,” President Lee Sheng said. “Projects like this are so very important to making sure our residents are protected.”
In addition to the Fisher School and Rosethorne Basins, future basins to be improved include Goose Bayou, Lower Lafitte, Pailet Basin, Crown Point Basin, Lower Barataria Basin, Upper LA 45, Lower LA 45, and Jones Point Basin.