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Contractor given 310 days to fix Manchac and Alligator Bayou Road

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ST. GABRIEL - The much anticipated construction to fix a damaged section of road and add additional flood gates to Manchac Road got underway today.

Iberville Parish leaders authorized engineers and contractors to begin construction which will take 310 days.

The new project will add three additional flood gates to the area that borders Bayou Manchac and the Spanish Lake Basin. Those gates will be able to be operational using remote controls and the additional flood gates will prevent the road from ever having to be cut again in future flood events.

"It's hard to ever prepare for the event of August 2016," Engineer Kenny Ferachai said. "That was a monumental event that no one can design for. These three new gates we should not ever have to cut that road again."

In 2008, Iberville Parish was awarded 45 million dollars after Hurricane Gustav in Community Development Block Grant monies. Parish leaders got approval from the feds to use this money for the flood gate project which will total 2.1 million dollars.

The project will also include a boat ramp and areas for fishermen.

"I want people not to fear as construction is beginning," Parish President Mitch Ourso said. "The current gate will be operational at all times."

The news of construction beginning comes as music to the ears of residents who have been making one hour detours to get around the road.

"It is inconvenient for everyone here," Carolyn Harelson said.

Harelson has lived in St. Gabriel for 77 years and never dreamed the area would flood like it did last August.

The flood gates that will replace the existing one built in the 1950's will allow water to go in the Spanish Lake Basin but also allow water to drain out. The contract signed states construction must be finished within 310 days. That time frame has rain days built in and penalties for the contractor if the deadline isn't met.

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