|Comite River Diversion
Official Project Name
Flood Control, Amite River and Tributaries, Louisiana, Comite River Basin, Comite River Diversion Project
The Comite River is a right bank tributary of the Amite River, with a confluence near the city of Denham Springs, east of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Comite River Basin comprises approximately 348 square miles and includes portions of Wilkinson and Amite Counties in Mississippi, and East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parishes in Louisiana. The project is located between the Comite and the Mississippi Rivers north of the town of Baker, Louisiana and south of the town of Zachary, Louisiana.
The purpose of the project is to provide flood damage reduction for the residents in the lower part of the Comite River Basin.
The Draft EA 426, Comite River Diversion, Supplemental Mitigation Options and the Draft EA 426, Section 404(b)(1) Public Notice are available for viewing under the Report tab above. The public review period for the two documents listed is 6/15 – 7/16. The point of contact for the project is Steve Roberts (email@example.com), 504-862-2517
Engineering and Design Status:
Currently, Louisiana Highway 67, 19 and 964 bridges have been awarded to Architect-Engineering contractors for design. Louisiana Highway 67 design is scheduled to be awarded in mid 2010.
Construction of the Lilly Bayou Control Structure Phase II continues to move forward in spite of funding constraints over the past two years. Current schedule for completion is August 2008 not including weather delays.
Lilly Bayou Control Structure Phase II consists of the rest of the required excavation and the construction of the concrete control structure, stilling basin and outflow channel. The 900 calendar-day contract was awarded to B&K Construction Company, Inc. Mandeville, LA on 26 August 2004, for a contract amount of $27,623,764.
Lilly Bayou Control Structure Phase I consisted of excavation only and the installation of a slurry wall. The contract was awarded to James Construction Group, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA in March 2003 and was completed in December 2003. The contract amount was $ 2,423,312.
Real Estate Status:
The first real estate acquisitions were made in 2003 west of Louisiana Highway 61 to the Mississippi River for the construction of the Lilly Bayou Control Structure. Acquisition of property associated Louisiana Highway 67 (Plank Road), 964 and 19 bridges are currently underway. These properties are needed before the next construction contract is awarded. Rights-of- Entry for soil borings and surveys along the channel alignment is also underway. Approximately, 683 of 3, 360 acres have been purchased in fee (1,873 acres for construction and 1,487 acres for mitigation).
Utility Relocation Status:
Coordination meetings are ongoing with telephone, gas, water and sewer facility owners that are impacted by the construction of the Comite River Diversion Canal project.
Benefit to the Community & Project Features
Benefit to the Community
The authorized project will reduce stages on the Comite River from the diversion point to the confluence with the Amite River; on the Amite River from the confluence with the Comite River near Denham Springs to Port Vincent, Louisiana; on Hurricane Creek and Roberts Canal (tributaries to the Amite River); and on White's, Cypress and Baton Rouge Bayous that will be intercepted by the diversion channel.
The Comite River Diversion Plan consists of approximately 12 miles of channels from the Comite River to the Mississippi River. These channels include 1800-feet long inflow channel, an 8-mile long diversion channel and a 3.5 mile long outlet channel, which includes a 1-mile pilot channel. There are disposal areas or a levee with lateral drainage ditches on either side of the diversion channel for the entire eight miles. The plan includes a diversion structure at the beginning of the channel (Comite River) and a stage control structure (Lilly Bayou Control Structure) at the end of diversion channel. These uncontrolled structures will be constructed of reinforced concrete. Further, the plan includes reinforced concrete drop structures at each of the three intercepted bayous (White, Cypress and Baton Rouge Bayous) and a CMP pipe structure between Highway 19 and McHugh Road. Low flow augmentation pumps (1.5 cfs each) will be placed at each of the three bayous. An earthen closure with a drainage culvert will be placed adjacent to Brooks Lake near the lower end of Cooper Bayou. The recommended mitigation plan consists of purchasing 1484 acres of land along the Comite River to offset the environmental losses due to the project. The plan also calls for planting trees on 679 acres of cleared land (included in the 1484 acres) and fencing a portion of the land. Incidental to the constructed project will be the relocation of several utilities and pipelines along with the construction of two new railroad bridges (Illinois Central and Kansas City Southern Railroads), four new major highway bridges (U.S. Highways 61 and 67 and State Highways 19 and 964), and two light duty bridges for local roads.
The authorities for the Comite River Diversion Channel Project are the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1986 Public Law (PL) 99-662, which established the cost sharing principles for the project, section 101(11) WRDA of 1992, PL 102-580, dated October 31, 1992 (WRDA 1992), as amended and reauthorized by Section 301(b)(5) of the WRDA 1996, PL 104-303 dated October 12, 1996, and as amended by Section 371 of WRDA 1999, PL 106-53 dated August 1999, with technical corrections to Section 371 of WRDA 1999 in Section 6 of PL 106-109 dated November 24, 1999, which is the main project authorization. The WRDA of 1986, established the cost sharing for the project. The non-Federal cost shall include a mandatory 5% cost contribution and the purchase of all lands, easements, rights-of-way, relocations and disposal areas. The law also established that the non-Federal cost at a minimum of 25% and a maximum of 50% of the total cost. Section 37 of WRDA 1999 further modified cost sharing for the Comite Project to include the cost of highway relocations as a cost-shared feature.
The authorized project provided for construction of a 12 mile long diversion channel from the Comite River to the Mississippi River, a diversion structure at the Comite River, guide levees, the Lilly Bayou control structure, four drop structures at the intersections of the diversion channel with McHugh Road, Bayou Baton Rouge, Cypress Bayou, and White Bayou, and Highway and Railroad Bridges. Low-flow augmentation pumps at the intercepted streams, an earthen closure at Brooks Lake and clearing and snagging of Bayou Baton Rouge, White Bayou and Cypress Bayou north of the diversion channel to reduce flooding in those areas will complete the project.