The Louisiana National Guard has finished a land bridge on Elmers Island, a wildlife refuge, that should protect the wetlands from being inundated by oil from the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf and provides a reliable road for moving equipment needed for cleanup efforts.
There already was a land bridge at the site along Thunder Bayou, but it was built only a foot above the high tide mark. Engineers elevated the existing bridge and reinforced it with a geotextile fabric liner, 2,400 tons of rocks and 1,800 cubic yards of sand.
The purpose of the bridge was to keep water from overflowing into the protected marsh and as a bridge over the gap between Grand Isle and Elmers Island, 2nd Lt. Christopher Hardy says. The bridge now is about 4 feet above high-tide level.
Hardy says the renovated bridge should diminish the threat of oil damaging the habitat of herons, pelicans and terns.