The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will dredge Bayou Teche in the New Iberia area, beginning Thursday, November 1.
It will take approximately one and a half to two years to restore the channel to its authorized dimensions of 60 ft. wide and 8 ft. deep. Dredging will occur between the Olivier Bridge
and the Vida railroad bridge 12.3 miles upstream. Cost will be $6.68 million.
"We will work daylight hours only, Monday through Saturday," said Chris Accardo
, the Corps' operations manager for Southwest Louisiana
. "We have coordinated with the bridge operators to minimize or eliminate delay for motorists."
The dredging, the first in more than 10 years on this stretch of the Teche, will benefit the barge and towboat industry, including vessels that serve three sugar mills in the New Iberia area, and other navigation.
"This is not routine, maintenance dredging since the material must be handled twice," Accardo said.
The government's contractor, Circle Inc.
, will use a clamshell bucket to place the dredged material on barges. The material will then be barged to designated staging areas, hwere trucks will take it to an approved disposal sites. It's expected that about 440,000 cubic yards of material will be moved.
"There are no toxic materials here, but this is an urban area, and some trash will be picked up. Large objects, such as tires, junk cars and washing machines, will be taken to appropriate landfills," Accardo said.