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Dredging almost done, New River weir replacement about to begin

At left-Amphibious excavator employed in New River; Right-Rip/Rap sloping to prevent erosion.

Posted on March 14, 2023

As New River Dredging project nears completion, East Ascension Drainage Board approved funding to engage H Davis Cole engineers to oversee installation of a control structure in place of the waterway’s weir.  62,000 cubic yards have been excavated from channel (95% of the way done with dredging beneath the KCS Railroad bridge all that remains) with the focus shifting to shaping, shoring up and placing embankment fill (25% accomplished).  The $2.2 million weir removal/replacement project has been Noticed to Proceed on Monday, March 13 with a 365-day construction schedule.

It is the rare parish project that did not extend well beyond initial scheduling, once Boone Services was awarded the contract after the lowest bidder (Bridging the Gap, LLC) was rejected for failure to perform.  The project had already been delayed as bidders filed separate lawsuits.

On time and within budget…that has not always been the case in Ascension Parish projects.

The tilting weir will afford EA Drainage to draw down water to a depth of negative two feet in anticipation of major rain events, up to three feet under normal conditions.  The dredging project excavated New River channel to negative two feet, oft utilizing amphibious excavating equipment to reach those hard to access spots (see image at top of page).  That is according to H. Davis Cole whose contract was increased by $164,136 to provide Construction Management over the weir replacement (bringing the firm’s total compensation to $777,255).

President (and still de facto Drainage Director) Clint Cointment noted a second control structure, this one installed by the parish during a declared emergency in June of 2021, that “gives us the ability regulate New River” like never before.  An example…

After installation of a control structure in place of the rock weir…

The water level in Smith Bayou was 3 feet below New River on June 9, 2021.

“We will be able to create additional capacity throughout the entire system,” Cointment explained, including all branches of Bayou Goudine that flow into New River.



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