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Dredging begins on Bayou Lafourche in Donaldsonville

Michael Tortorich

Last week, the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District began work on a dredging project in Donaldsonville.

Crews began work Sept. 8 on the dredging project on Bayou Lafourche in Donaldsonville. The boat launch on East Bayou Road will be closed until further notice.

During the Sept. 8 Donaldsonville City Council meeting, Mayor Leroy Sullivan said the dredging was set to begin in three weeks. 

After closing the boat launch, crews began unloading pipes and equipment near the railroad area along East Bayou Road, which is Hwy. 308 in the city limits.

The project will pump sediment from Bayou Lafourche into the Mississippi River, the mayor said. The piping will cross under Mississippi Street near the American Legion building.

Bayou Lafourche provides drinking water to more than 300,000 people in areas south of Donaldsonville, including Assumption, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes.

The bayou meanders 106 miles from the river in Donaldsonville to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through Napoleonville, Thibodaux, Raceland, Larose, Galliano, Golden Meadow, and Leeville. It connects to the Gulf near Port Fourchon and Grand Isle.

Once a free-flowing tributary of the Mississippi, the bayou was dammed at Donaldsonville in 1904 to control flooding. The first pump station was installed in the 1940s.

In other matters before the council:

-- The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reported several arrests and citations stemming from traffic violations over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Deputies conducted extra patrols to address complaints of ATVs on roadways and drag racing in the parish.

Council member Reginald Francis thanked Captain Darryl Smith for the efforts of the west side patrol division.

-- During the public comment section of the meeting, Shentelle Daigle asked the council about the possibility of holding a debate for candidates in the Nov. 3 election.

It was unclear when or where the proposed event would take place, especially since meetings have been conducted virtually due to the pandemic. 

The mayor expressed concerns about who would serve as moderator, and how questions would be determined.

“We don’t want it to be an attack debate,” Daigle said. 

A court challenge ruled Daigle ineligible to run against Francis in the upcoming election due to her registration at an address outside of the city limits. 

The disqualification judgment in the 23rd Judicial Court was appealed in the First Circuit Court of Appeal, but was thrown out due to attorneys filing late. A writ application to the Louisiana Supreme Court was denied Aug. 25. 

-- Fire Chief Adam Gautreaux, during his department’s report, said firefighters responded to a fire at an abandoned structure on Ceasar Lane in the Lemannville area.

He also told the council about the Capital Area United Way grant of $2,300 for personal protective equipment. 

Over the weekend, the department held a training session at the Graugnard Inc. warehouse parking area. Formerly a Walmart store, the fire department has been utilizing the large parking area to conduct training exercises.