Two key projects aimed at restoring Louisiana’s coast will move forward after receiving almost $200 million for engineering and design work.
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund awarded the money, which is part of the $370 million designated for 24 projects in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, on Nov. 15. The fund was created using oil giant BP’s $2.5-billion settlement for the Gulf oil spill.
About $102.3 million will be used to complete the engineering and design for the $1.3-billion mid-Barataria sediment-diversion project.
The project is expected to move up to 75,000 cu ft per second of sediment-laden Mississippi River water into the Barataria Basin to create new land.
Lafayette, La.-based HDR Engineering has completed some preliminary engineering for the project.
The engineering and design of the project will include a gravity flow structure, a conveyance channel and relocation of a road, a rail line, utilities and pipelines.
The smaller but similar mid-Breton sediment-diversion project received $90.7 million to begin and complete engineering and design. The $700-million project will move 35,000 cfs of river water to rebuild Breton Sound.
Another $16.1 million was provided to manage both of the diversion projects, located on opposite sides of the river in Plaquemines Parish.
Engineering and design for the projects are expected to take until 2020, when construction is anticipated to begin.
The Louisiana Coastal and Restoration Authority, which oversees Louisiana’s coastal projects, will let the projects for bid next year, said Chuck Perrodin, spokesman for Louisiana’s coastal authority, but he did not have a more definite time frame.