DULAC, LA – Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and local officials broke ground today on the Houma Navigation Canal (HNC) Lock Complex and announced the completion of the Grand Bayou Floodgate in Lafourche Parish. Both projects are critical components of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf Hurricane Protection System, benefiting over 200,000 residents and 1,900 square miles in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes with flood control, salinity control and ecosystem restoration.
“Today we are announcing two substantial advances in our efforts to provide Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes with 100-year storm surge protection,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Grand Bayou Floodgate will honor Rep. Bagala’s memory while providing improved hurricane protection to the people and place he called home. This project, combined with the soon to begin HNC Lock Complex, are game-changers for the entire Morganza-to-the-Gulf system.”
The local and state funded Morganza-to-the-Gulf system now boats 47 miles of continuous levee protection from Grand Bayou in Lafourche Parish to upper Bayou Dularge in Terrebonne Parish, significantly reducing the risk of disastrous storm surge and tidal floodwaters in the region.
“The completion of the Grand Bayou Floodgate and the start of construction on the Houma Navigation Canal Lock Complex are two huge achievements in our local and state efforts to close in the Morganza-to-the-Gulf system and provide the highest level of flood protection possible for more than 200,000 Terrebonne and Lafourche residents. Morganza Action Coalition thanks Governor Edwards, the CPRA, our state delegation, and our local levee districts for making these projects happen,” said Morganza Action Coalition President Jay Walker.
“While the winds of Hurricane Ida devasted our coastal parishes, securing federal investment to complete the entire Morganza system is critical to flood protection and sustainability of our region. Morganza Action Coalition is working hard to secure this federal support,” Walker said.
Construction of the Grand Bayou Floodgate was funded by $18.5 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds and $1.5 million in capital outlay funds. The project is a collaborative effort of CPRA with the South Lafourche Levee District, North Lafourche Levee District, and Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District. The floodgate was named in honor of the late Rep. Reggie Bagala of southern Lafourche Parish who passed away in April 2020.
“Rep. Bagala was a champion for our region and a tireless advocate for our levee systems. We are pleased that the completed Grand Bayou Floodgate will carry his name and his legacy,” said Morganza Action Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet. “We also commend the South Lafourche Levee District and General Manager Windell Curole for their leadership role in managing the contract for the floodgate’s construction. Morganza to the Gulf is truly a regional effort.”
Phase 1 of the HNC Lock Complex project, expected to be complete in fall 2022, will dredge over 1 million cubic yards of material to prepare the area for the lock complex and create 178 acres of marsh in six areas north of the complex along the navigation channel. Engineering, design, and construction for Phases 1 and 2 of the HNC Lock Complex are funded with money resulting from the damages of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.