I didn’t want to completely take some one else’s word for things so I called the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and talked with the public information officer, Brendan Rush. He told me that the start date (the date the actual pontoon replacement occurs) is now June 2, best case scenario. For a maximum of 14 days, no vehicular traffic will be able to cross the river at this point and only boats small enough to pass under the concrete approaches will be able to pass up or downstream. He admitted that crawfish season considerations entered into the new date and also that if a hurricane is approaching, some special accommodations would have to be made for that eventuality.
I said it was too bad the start date wasn’t right now since there was no crawfish at all in the spillway anyway, and I think maybe I heard a sigh before he said no matter what the date, someone was going to be unhappy. He asked me what I was going to do after I told him I lived on the St. Martin Parish side of the river. He said someone else had told him they were going to move across into Assumption Parish and live with relatives for the duration of the work.
At the March 27 Recreation District No. 1 meeting, there was much elation when Allen Krouse with the Shaw Group said bids for the Stephensville Park Phase I would be advertised in three papers beginning April 2. Once those bids are in, the advertising for the Belle River park will take place.
Advertising for bids for the trail grant for Belle River park was authorized. Mr. Doiron has completed the drainage work at the Stephensville site. Complete plans for both parks will be available at the water board office on Tower Tank Road in Stephensville. Sooooo! It looks like we’ll actually begin to see something happen before many months. Hallejuia!
A friend and I will be paddling Bayou Lafourche this coming Saturday and Sunday on the annual Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary Program trip. To highlight the need for coastal restoration and the value of Bayou Lafourche, this four day trip begins at Donaldsonville and ends at Lockport. Supper and entertainment are provided each night for those who choose to camp at the various stops (people who don’t camp can come also). A chance to meet some wonderful people, environmentally conscious people all. My friend and I will begin at Jean Lafitte Historic Park in Thibodaux Saturday morning, paddle to Matthews where we’ll pitch our tent in the yard of Dr. Mike Robichaux, dance with the Houma Indian tribe that evening and paddle to the main launch site in Lockport on Sunday.
You should try this trip sometime. It’s loads of fun and not at all hard. Just check www.BTNEP.org online and you can find pictures of trips and lots of information about the estuary.
The Teche News’ Lower St. Martin correspondent, Linda Cooke, can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.