Two recent tidal inundation studies completed in cooperation with the LA 1 Coalition estimate that the existing LA Highway 1 between Golden Meadow and Leeville has less than 40 years of life left before being covered in water and impassible for more than 300 days per year, threatening America’s energy and economic security. Additionally, the highway could experience a total wash-out before that time as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane in the area, cutting off access to Port Fourchon indefinitely.

The effects of sea level rise and subsidence on LA 1 traffic and national commerce, however, will begin to be experienced even sooner, according to modelings conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and environmental researchers at Stratus Consulting.

By 2027, NOAA predicts inundation levels that will obligate local officials to close a seven-mile section of the existing highway between Golden Meadow and Leeville for more than 30 days per year, restricting access to Port Fourchon and impacting hurricane evacuation.

Estimated Effects of Relative Seal Level Rise on LA 1 - NOAA - 2011

Similarly, Stratus Consulting estimates that significant portions of the highway will be inundated and closed on a monthly basis beginning in 2030.

2030 Projected Inundation Levels Along Existing LA 1

Significant low-lying sections of LA 1 between Golden Meadow and Leeville (in red) are projected to be inundated with tidal water on a monthly basis by 2030, according to analysts at environmental research firm Stratus Consulting. Road closures or convoying would occur at these high tide events, significantly disturbing the flow of commerce throughout the region. (Click on map at left to enlarge.)

 

2050 Projected Inundation Levels Along Existing LA 1

The entire section of existing LA 1 between Golden Meadow and Leeville (in red) is projected to be inundated monthly by tidal waters by 2050. Fortunately, most Port Fourchon facilities have been built up through port development, having higher elevations than existing Louisiana Highway 1, their sole access road. The completed Phase 1 of the LA 1 Project (in yellow) is not inundated due to its significantly higher finished elevation of 22 feet above sea level. (Click on map at right to enlarge.)

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