Union Pacific Railroad modification over Bayou Lafourche holds ribbon cutting
DONALDSONVILLE – With the completion of a Union Pacific Railroad Modification over Bayou Lafourche completed, a ribbon cutting was held earlier this week near the site to celebrate a milestone in a project that will bring safer drinking water to some 300,000 residents who live further down the bayou.
Among the attendees included representatives from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Union Pacific Railroad and Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District. Elected officials included U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa and City of Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan.
The railroad and culverts used to make it difficult to get fresh water through by creating a dam but water can now easily flow under the new construction and with the help of a new pumping station in Donaldsonville provide cleaner water for communities down Bayou Lafourche who rely on the bayou for drinking water including Thibodaux, Cut Off, Galliano, Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon.
A new railroad crossing has been pondered for nearly 30 years and finally came together in 2014. The cost of the project was $4.8 million and is part of a $31 million plan to bring more freshwater into the bayou from the Mississippi River.
The extra freshwater also hopes to bring life back to adjourning wetlands and there are plans to develop the area where the new crossing over the bayou lies for recreation for canoes and fishing.
Among the other parts of the total project, the new pumping station will increase flow by 400 cubic feet per second into the bayou. A structure is also planned in Lockport to stop saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico and the length of Bayou Lafourche was dredged to handle the larger capacity of freshwater.
Note: Photo from Ascension Parish Government Facebook page