Ascension Parish President touts New River drainage project

Staff Report

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment said the parish “is not wasting any time in getting new drainage projects off the drawing board and into production.”

Shown is the weir on west New River at Smith Bayou. The water level in Smith Bayou was three feet below New River on June 9.

Through a news release, he touted the latest initiative to begin installing flood valves in New River Bayou, which is expected to relieve high water in New River and Grand Goudine Bayou.

“We are looking at drainage with a regional eye,” Cointment stated. “This project ties into Morgan Swamp, which helps to drain Bluff Swamp, and also will help Prairieville and all the areas drained by the Goudine.”

Officials said valves are being installed at the weir connecting New River Bayou to Smith Bayou, just west of Gonzales. When waters rise in the northern waterways, the valves can be opened to allow more water to drain to the south.

An added bonus will be to lower water surface elevations prior to storm events, similar to what is done now with the Marvin Braud Pumping Station, Cointment stated. This action will add additional capacity for rain events in New River, all three branches of the Goudine, and all supporting drainage ditches within the Marvin Braud Basin north of the weirs.

“Due to the record rainfall in 2021, I feel action must be taken today, before any tropical storms and any future rain events,” the president said.

He assured the public that no one in the Marvin Braud drainage basin will be negatively Impacted.