Laplace, La. (WGNO)—After decades of delays a massive project to protect St. John the Baptist Parish from flooding is underway with a levee along the west shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

The project’s funding was secured in 2018.

WGNO met Senior Project Manager for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Bradley Durouant, at Phase 1 of the process.

“So what we’re looking at here is the alignment for the West shore Lake Pontchartrain levee that’s going to be built and this is the original sand base that our contractor to bring in the clay, to bring in the dump trucks, that are going to construct the levees here,” said Durouant.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, swamp land has been cleared for the $760 million project.

The hope is to protect people and property, ranging from the Bonnet Carre Spillway up to Garyville, from the ravages of Lake Pontchartrain with 100 years of level risk reduction. The 18-mile stretch will include levees, flood walls, flood gates, drainage structures, and pumps.

“One of the challenges we had with this project is the levee is all being built out in the marsh, so there was no way to get to it unless we built these access roads. This is one of 9 access roads that we built totaling about 13 miles to get the dump trucks from the highways to the levee alignment,” said Bradley Durouant, Sr. Project Manager.

Residents like Samuel Warren Jr. are happy to finally be getting the protection from flooding they need.

“It’s a good thing that they’re building the levee because it would help. It was flooding back there too for a while but since they’re building the levee it will help out a lot,” said Samuel Warren Jr., Laplace resident.

Stay updated with the latest news, weather, and sports by downloading the WGNO app on the Apple or Google Play store and subscribing to the WGNO newsletter.