Engineering News Record published an article on 9 August, 2018, about Louisiana's massive Mississippi River diversion projects, both of which are currently in the design phase.  Eustis Engineering is providing geotechnical design services for one of those projects, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish.

Eustis Engineering is one of the key subcontractors to AECOM, the prime consultants for the land-building project.  Engineering, geotechnical, surveying, and other technical services are included in the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s (CPRA’s) $1.3 billion project.

Because the Barataria basin has experienced significant land loss, the project is seen as necessary.  The land loss is due to sediment deprivation, alterations to the area’s natural hydrology, subsidence, sea level rise, and salt water intrusion. Unless action is taken, the land loss will continue.

Goals of the diversion

The Mid-Barataria diversion project will be the first controlled sediment diversion reconnecting the Mississippi River with its delta, according to the CPRA.

The project aims to push sediments, water, and nutrients to Barataria basin in order to build and maintain land. As a result, this will increase habitat resiliency to sea level rise and damage from future storm events.

Mid-Barataria is one of eight sediment diversions along the Mississippi River in the 2017 Coastal Master Plan.  Preliminary designs for the project include an inlet channel, a gated structure at the Mississippi River levee, a conveyance channel, and a gated outlet structure at the future New Orleans to Venice back levee. Additionally, interior drainage improvements, and highway and railroad bridges and alignment accommodations, are planned.

The team

AECOM is the prime consultant on a team that includes 14 subcontractors. In addition to Eustis Engineering, the team members are Parsons Brinkerhoff; T. Baker Smith; FTN Associates; All South Consulting Engineers; GIS Engineering; GreenPoint Engineering; IMC Consulting Engineers, Inc.; Meyers Engineers; Principal Engineering; Alden Research Laboratory; Downey Engineering Corp.; Ecoservice Partners; and Royal Haskoning.