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Landowners hoping to save 300-year-old cypress trees

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SUNSHINE - For the first time, we're getting an inside look at one of three sites DOTD is considering for the new Mississippi Bridge. Officials within the next couple of months will start the environmental study process on all three.

"We're going through the process and getting the information; no decisions have been made if the alternative they're concerned about is going to be selected, that's why we have the process, and as we move forward, we will get the information needed to make the final decision," Paul Vaught, DOTD Project Manager for the Mississippi River Bridge said.

One of those sites is the A.E. LeBlanc Forest at Plaquemine Point, where there are more than 100 acres in the area of cypress trees that are hundreds of years old.

"What you're walking through right now, is what happens in a forest when you just let it alone. All these vines were stepping over, are signs of old tree trunks, and signs of an old growth forest," Laura Comeaux, the landowner, said.

Comeaux brought several of the project officials out to the property on Thursday to show them what her concerns are.

"It would be awful. it would be detrimental to the entire forest on the side of it," Comeaux said.

Comeaux inherited the property, which has been handed down generation after generation.

"It's from those original Acadian settlers who landed in Plaquemine Point in 1767 who got these... Spanish people got to the middle of the point and divided the land, giving it to each settler so they could farm, build a home, whatever they needed to do to survive," Comeaux said.

Comeaux and her neighbors hopes the state chooses one of the other options to connect the west side of Iberville Parish to the east side.

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