Flood protection project to begin construction in Louisiana

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SHELL BEACH, LA – NOVEMBER 27: A man fishes along the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet in St. Bernard Parish November 27, 2009 in Shell Beach, Louisiana. A federal judge handed down a historic judgement last week when he ruled the Army Corps of Engineers’ mismanagement of the controversial Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for Hurricane Katrina flooding in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower Ninth Ward. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana officials announced construction on a $366 million flood protection project will begin using an alternative financing plan approved by the state legislature earlier this year.

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said Wednesday it will use the plan to pay for the flood-protection lock project in the Houma Navigation Canal, The Courier reported. The plan allows the agency to incur debt or issue bonds to pay for projects.

The Lock Complex Project will play a critical role in Terrebonne Parish’s hurricane protection system. It also aims to shield inland communities from storm surges.

“HNC is a critically important hurricane protection and ecosystem restoration structure, and we are thrilled to have identified a way to expedite its construction,” said Chip Kline, the agency’s chairman.

Terrebonne Parish’s Levee & Conservation District will lead the construction.

Phase one of the project will begin next year, and it’s expected to be completed by 2024, said Reggie Dupre, the executive director of the department.

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