Large chunk of Metairie Lakefront to be transformed

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 5:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:47 PM CDT
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METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - A major transformation is about to get underway for a large portion of the Metairie Lakefront. State lawmakers just approved the final piece of a $10 million project, that would dramatically change the water’s edge while creating what’s being called a living shoreline.

On a hot day, fishermen enjoy the Bonnabel Pier while looking for the big one.

“Good fishing here most of the time. It might not be what you want but you’ll catch something,” said Huey Pablovich, of Metairie, along the pier.

But the shoreline they love is about to undergo some major changes.

“We have been planning a ‘living shoreline’ between Bucktown Harbor and the Bonnabel boat launch.’

In the final hours of the session last week, state lawmakers approved a bill to provide $3.5 million dollars, part of a $10 million development that will transform a mile-long section of shore that would see the placement of nine rock breakwaters up to 450 feet offshore. That would open the door for the creation of 22 acres of marshland, which is believed to help boost fish populations and lake cleanliness.

“To me, it seems like a good idea, I love to fish if it brings more fish I would like that,” said Joseph Franklin of Kenner.

The projects are also expected to provide an extra layer of protection for the levee.

The project calls for a one-mile-long ‘Blueway’ to allow kayakers and canoers to paddle inside the new breakwaters.

“The lake is part of our quality of life that’s what it’s all about but we haven’t been able to easily get into the lake,” said Jefferson Parish councilmember Jennifer VanVrancken. These projects have been put together using as many as six funding sources. Using that formula they will soon build a kayak canoe launching area.

If the project works as expected, it could be expanded.

“This could be a model of something that we could do all around Lake Pontchartrain to make sure our levees are protected,” said VanVrancken.

Look for construction to begin early next year. Long-term plans for Bucktown Harbor include a transient and offloading dock. A master plan for the area is expected to be presented to the public in a few weeks

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