Upper Barataria Marsh Creation
The marshland south of New Orleans is suffering destruction due to saltwater intrusion and the effect of recent hurricane storm surges. In an effort to protect the local marshland ecosystem that includes fisheries, trees and wildlife, Weeks has been contracted to create a land bridge out of dredged materials from the floor of the Mississippi River that will block salt water from going inland. This land barrier will also provide much needed storm surge protection for nearby inhabited areas during hurricanes. Weeks is in the process of building a pipeline approximately 60,000 ft long that will allow for the continuous flow of dredged materials to be pumped directly from the floor of the river to the ultimate location where the material is meant to be discharged over 13 miles away. This project requires the full breadth of Weeks equipment, including the mobilization of multiple dredges including a cutter dredge, bucket dredge, as well as booster pumps, barges, bulldozers, loaders, excavators and marsh buggies. The diverse wildlife that these habitats will support includes birds and turtles, some of which are endangered. It is important to the process that these animals are not disrupted during the regular rhythm of their nesting seasons, therefore while the work is underway to create the new march environments, measures will be taken to ensure that the animals are kept safe and not disturbed. Construction has begun in late 2021and it will take approximately 26 months to complete the construction of the Upper Barataria project.