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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bridge to somewhere

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM

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The Louisiana National Guard has finished a land bridge on Elmer’s 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 Elmer’s 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.

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