Spot dredging to begin on Bayou Vermilion

Crews will begin digging out shallow sections of the Bayou Vermilion on July 8, the Boulet administration announced Wednesday. Residents along the river have long called for spot dredging as a flood reduction measure.

“This community has long awaited the start of this project,” Mayor-President Monique Boulet said in a statement Wednesday. “We’re eager to get this initiative moving as it plays an important role in preserving the health of our bayous. By investing in sustainable practices like this, we’re fostering a healthier ecosystem for our community and ensuring these cherished spaces are accessible for generations to come.”

LCG outlined this timeline in a press release:

  • March 2024: Public bid awarded
  • April 2024: Preconstruction meeting(s) to outline project scope and logistics
  • May 2024: Contracting review via Purchasing Department
  • May 31, 2024: Contracts fully executed by Mayor-President, recorded, and dispatched
  • Week of July 8: Mobilization scheduled to begin
  • Week of July 22: Channel dredging scheduled to begin
  • Early October: Expected completion of dredging operations, weather permitting
  • Mid-December: Temporary staging area clear of materials for project completion

The Guillory administration budgeted $5 million in an emergency meeting for the project in 2021, but never got the greenlight from federal authorities, who have oversight on waterways. In announcing the dredging, Boulet characterized the project as a maintenance plan intended to restore navigability and protect environmental quality.

Dredging the river is unlikely to deliver much, if any, flood relief without extensive dredging from the mouth of the river at Vermilion Bay.