Water from Bayou Lafourche covers La. 1 after Hurricane Isaac
Golden Meadow, La. - Two days after Hurricane Isaac made landfall, water still covered part of La. 1 between Golden Meadow and Leeville. The storm stopped travel to Port Fourchon for days.
"When that road is out and you don't have immediate access to Fourchon to reactivate the closed down production of oil in the Gulf, you see impacts across America happen as a result," says Henri Boulet, director of the La. 1 Coalition.
Boulet's group has long fought to elevate the highway. He says Isaac once again showed the vulnerability of the major road.
One year after the storm, work continues on plans to elevate La. 1 from Golden Meadow to Leeville, joining the Leeville Bridge. The full eight-mile project will cost about $320 million, so planners divided it into three segments.
"The state is designing the closest segment to Golden Meadow and we anticipate that part of the project going out to public bid in less than two years," says Boulet.
That's not the only work happening on La. 1. A project will go out to bid next month to strengthen the section between Port Fourchon and Grand Isle.
Boulet says that stretch sustained more damage in Isaac than any other storm in recent history. Waves washed out the road in at least 21 spots.
Crews plan to add at least four feet of roadbed to both shoulders to help the highway better withstand storm surge.
"This section of road never had a blacktop shoulder before so it will be a huge safety improvement. Then they're going to armor the sides of that highway substantially with 150-pound rock, so that hopefully this will never happen again," says Boulet.
There will be more hurricanes here and local shipyard owner Brent Duet says La. 1 has to weather them well for the area to survive.
"Making all this happen is for our future and it has to continue, you see every step is being accomplished one by one and we just can't go backward, we gotta go forward," says Duet.
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