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West Belle Pass Bids Opened on July 14

Bids were opened on July 14 for the West Belle Pass Barrier Headland and Marsh Creation project.

Project manager Kenneth Bahlinger of Louisiana Office of Coastal Restoration told IDR on July 19 that the bids were being analyzed, and that he anticipates a mid-August award and Notice to Proceed.

The project is located along the Chenier Caminada headland to the west of West Belle Pass, at the southeastern edge of Timbalier Bay in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.

This headland experiences some of the highest shoreline retreat rates in the nation, measuring over 100 feet a year in some locations. As the gulf encroaches upon the shoreline, sand is removed and the headland erodes. What was once a continuous shoreline spanning several miles has been reduced to less than half its original length. Furthermore, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita removed most of the emergent headland and dunes west of the pass. This headland helps provide protection to interior marshes and the Port Fourchon area; however, its continued degradation threatens the fragile bay habitat and infrastructure it once protected.

This project will reestablish the West Belle headland by rebuilding a large portion of the beach, dune, and back barrier marsh that once existed. Approximately 9,300 feet of beach and dune will be rebuilt using nearly two million cubic yards of dredged sand, and 150 acres of marsh habitat will be rebuilt using nearly one million cubic yards of dredged material. Native vegetation will be planted upon construction to help stabilize the rebuilt marsh and dune habitat.

The project area is 411 acres, total estimated cost is $42.2 million, and the net benefit after 20 years is estimated at 305 acres.

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