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In the News

Report given on shoreline projects

By Cyndi Sellers

Marco Gonzales, of Volkert, Inc., and Nicholas Gaspard, of C.H. Fenstermaker & Associates, presented the Police Jury a preliminary report on the design of the three shoreline protection projects to be funded through the GOMESA bond issue.

Geotechnical borings have been taken to establish the type of water bottom in each location, and extensive survey, both above and below the water line, have been done to establish the best placement of rock breakwaters at Rutherford, Long, and Little Florida Beaches.

Gonzales said the breakwaters at Long and Little Florida Beaches are too far offshore to do their job adequately. The plan is to add another row of breakwaters closer to shore, staggered between the existing rocks to interrupt the wave action currently hitting the shore.

At Rutherford Beach, the plan is to build breakwaters with angled ends to catch the prevailing southeast waves, placing them outside the sand bar. The proposed plan is for 150 feet of rock with a 100 foot gap between them, extending the length of the public beach.

Doxey said that gap would be too wide to work, even with the angled ends on the breakwaters. He would like to see full coverage, with angled structures leaving gaps where they overlap. Gonzales said the design team would take the advice under consideration, but the money might not stretch that far.

Sonny McGee asked if the team had considered the effect on property at the west end of the breakwaters, and Gonzales acknowledged that the area west of the armored beach would be starved of sediment. The parish would like to armor the entire coastline, but there is not enough money to do it all at once, Williams said.

Further design work needs to be done, and Volkert hopes to have preliminary designs done for all beaches and permits applied for by mid-May. The team plans to be back with further details in June. The final design would be ready in August, with bid packages ready in the last quarter. There is a time limit on bond issue spending, so the project needs to be awarded soon after.

“We want to design a top notch project for you,” Gonzales said. “If necessary we can permit for a larger size and wait for more money to extend it.”

 

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