Dunes to protect Port Fourchon

PORT FOURCHON (AP) — Work is expected to begin in the spring on construction of a sand dune barrier designed to protect Port Fourchon.

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission has approved a $3 million bid to build about a mile of dunes along the beach.

The dunes will be built up to a height of 10 feet and will be made of a textile tube core filled with sand slurry to form a solid base that can’t be easily washed away by storm surge.

The construction bid was awarded to New Orleans-based Hamp’s Construction.

The bid was nearly $1 million under budget, port director Chett Chiasson said.

Port Fourchon officials have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get the beachfront reinforced since hurricanes Lili and Isidore in 2002.

After those storms, port officials began working on a project to repair damage to the beach, Chiasson said. Just as contracts for the work were made and construction materials purchased, Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, and the project had to be reconfigured.

This began years of frustration for the port as repeated disasters caused additional delays. Hurricane Gustav in 2008, the BP oil spill in 2010, Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and Hurricane Isaac in 2012 also created setbacks.

Chiasson said the dune project is targeted for completion by August as hurricane season begins to peak.

Port Fourchon is a major staging point for offshore oil activity in the Gulf of Mexico.

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