Dredging

South La. Waterways Receive Work Plan Funds

A pair of smaller Louisiana waterways—the Houma Navigation Canal and bayous Chene, Boeuf and Black—will receive additional dredging funds from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ fiscal year 2019 work plan. The Corps delivered its 2019 work plan to Congress November 20. 

As part of the work plan, the Corps announced $4 million set aside for dredging the inland reaches of the Houma Navigation Canal. With those funds, the Corps will remove about 500,000 cubic yards of material, placing it in an upland disposal area, and return the canal to an authorized depth of 15 feet. That section of the Houma Navigation Canal has not been dredged since 2006. The Corps expects to award the contract in late summer 2019, with work lasting two or three months.

The outer reaches of the Houma Navigation Canal—the bar and bay—are currently being dredged with funding allocated from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, with work expected to finish there in January 2019.

Just to the west of Houma, the Morgan City area will receive just over $3 million in additional dredge funding from the Corps’ fiscal year 2019 work plan to dredge portions of the Atchafalaya River and bayous Chene, Boeuf and Black, which tie in to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near the Port of Morgan City.

That amount brings the total value of dredging anticipated in the Morgan City area over the next few years to around $45 million, including a $21.8 million contract awarded October 30 to Brice Civil Constructors Inc. to build equipment and dredge the Atchafalaya River Bar Channel to remove miles’ worth of fluid mud. The fluid mud, or “fluff,” has hampered the port’s import-export business since 2015.

Port of Morgan City officials are hopeful that returning area bayous, the Atchafalaya River and its bar channel to their authorized depths will help lure industry back to the port that has been kept out of late by the channel restrictions.

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