WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will funnel an additional $14 million of funding to the Comite River Diversion Canal, according to Congressman Garret Graves, chairman of the House Water Resources Subcommittee.
The funding is in included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers FY 2018 Construction Work Plan.
The package also includes revenue for environmental infrastructure projects in Livingston, East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes.
Livingston Parish will receive $750,000 as part of the package, which will also provide $1 million for Ascension Parish and $1.5 million for East Baton Rouge, said Graves, R-South Louisiana.
The announcements came as Graves continues negotiations with the Corps, the White House and through legislative efforts in the House of Representatives to fully fund the CRDC and other flood protection projects in the Capital Region and south Louisiana.
“Since 2015, we’ve continued to push the Corps on Comite – resulting in $37 million of dedicated Work Plan funding for the project over the last 3-and-a-half years,” Graves said. “This $14 million is an important installment, but it’s not enough. We are working right now to get this project fully funded and completed, and it will happen – mark my words.”
Graves has also worked on passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018, which would authorize a majority of the nation’s water resources and infrastructure projects, including the long-awaited Comite River Diversion Canal project.
It would also dictate how the investments are selected, prioritized and implemented.
He also worked with Gov. John Bel Edwards in April to add an additional $1.212 billion in Community Development Block Grant funding, which has been touted as a package that would enable the state to advance on critical projects that have been stagnant for years, including the CRDC, the West Shore Levee System in St. John and St. Charles parishes, Upper Barataria Risk Reduction for the Mississippi River and the Morganza Spillway.