BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) celebrated the completion of the $80 million Bayou Chene Floodgate on Friday.

The structure will prevent Atchafalaya River backwater flooding from affecting several parishes, including St. Mary, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Martin, Assumption, and Iberville. The project was funded by CPRA through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), according to Edwards.

“This region has relied on temporary measures to prevent backwater flooding since the 1970s,” said Gov. Edwards. “With the completion of this decades-long effort, the people of St. Mary and the five surrounding parishes can rest easier knowing they’re protected by a permanent flood control structure. I applaud the collaboration between CPRA and the St. Mary Levee District that brought this important project to fruition.”

The new floodgate will protect homes and businesses previously affected by rising water levels.

“The completion of the Bayou Chene Floodgate is a gamechanger for the homes and businesses across this six-parish region,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “With its installation, nearly 30,000 residents will be protected from Atchafalaya River backwater flooding.”