Work to begin on Port Eads MarinaSep 28th, 2010 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: news
FEMA dedicates $8.8 mil. to Port Eads
The parish announced last week that work should soon begin on rebuilding the marina at historic Port Eads, now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the project. FEMA has approved project worksheets totaling close to $8.8 million to rebuild the Port Eads Marina, and the project is expected to go to bid within the week.
Port Eads Marina is located at Head of Passes, south of Venice. Port Eads can only be accessed by boat or aircraft and was a major fuel stop and safe harbor for deep water vessels prior to Hurricane Katrina. It was also a popular haven for commercial fishermen and oil industry vessels. Katrina caused extensive damage to the facility.
FEMA initially denied Plaquemines Parish officials’ application for funding to repair Port Eads. The parish then filed an appeal with the director of FEMA.
In December 2008, Parish President Billy Nungesser, along with representatives from All South Consulting Engineers and Governor Bobby Jindal’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness presented an appeal to James Walke in FEMA’s Washington D.C. headquarters. The parish won the appeal and immediately entered into negotiations to determine the cost of the repairs.
The $8.8 million from FEMA will cover the vast majority of the rebuild effort, but FEMA deemed the concrete walkways around the facility and mooring piles ineligible for federal funds due to the fact they were not destroyed in Katrina.
Jens Nielsen with All South told the Parish Council Sept. 23 the concrete walkways received about six inches of water during a normal high tide and the mooring piles are rotten as well. Both must be replaced in order for the facility to be usable, Nielsen said. The council voted 6-3 to appropriate the $850,000 needed to raise the concrete bulkhead and replace the piles.
The parish reports that work on Port Eads should begin by early 2011.
Port Eads is named for James Buchanan Eads, a maritime engineer from the 19th century, who installed a system of wooden jetties along South Pass. Eads’ jetties are credited with deepening the channel and opening the river to year-round, deep water navigation. The channel was opened in February 1877. A plaque honoring Eads’ jetties is placed near Fort Jackson in Buras.