Monday, October 24, 2016

Levee bike path in Jefferson Parish (LA) reopens

        Sections of the paved path on top of the east bank Mississippi River levee in Jefferson Parish, closed for months to allow subsiding levees to be raised, have reopened.  The 30-mile long trail, from the Fly at Audubon Park in New Orleans, upriver to the lower guide levee of the Bonnet Carre Spillway at Norco in St. Charles Parish, is again complete, unfettered by construction fences and "Keep Out" signs.
        Beginning in 2014, about 8.5 miles of the path in Jefferson Parish and two miles in Orleans parish were closed to allow the US Army Corps of Engineers to raise those sections of the levee two to three feet to correct for levee subsidence. Not all of the sections were closed at once.
       The only detour around the closed sections is River Road, a narrow, two lane road with heavy traffic and no shoulders running most of the length of the levee at its base.  Most regular trail users just avoided the Jefferson Parish stretch altogether.
       The levee in St. Charles Parish did not need to be raised so its 12.5 mile stretch of the paved path never closed.
         A third short section was also closed for work on pipes and pumps in the "Pump to the River" drainage project, just upriver from the Earl K. Long bridge over the Mississippi River.  Recently a short asphalt bypass has been built around the pipes, eliminating the short detour down to the toe of the levee and back up.