Morgan City officials had hoped to have the city’s renovated wharf on Front Street open to the public for the Fourth of July, but a rise in the Atchafalaya River several weeks ago halted work. Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi hopes to be able to officially open the wharf before the end of summer.
—The Daily Review/Zachary Fitzgerald
High water delays wharf work
Morgan City’s newly renovated riverfront wharf on Front Street should officially reopen before the end of the summer, barring any more high water delays, Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said.
The $2.05 million project entailed extending Morgan City’s riverfront wharf by about 200 feet, upgrading the existing 800 feet of wharf and installing composite decking. The wharf will go from Brashear Avenue to Railroad Avenue.
Grizzaffi had hoped to have the riverfront wharf open to the public for the city’s Fourth of July celebration. However, the river conditions have caused substantial delays to the renovations during the past two years.
The new wharf will include electric outlets for boats and city water connections every 60 feet. There will be a grassy park area on the riverfront from Freret Street to the U.S. 90 bridge. The wharf will be an ideal place for shrimp boats to dock and sell shrimp to customers, Grizzaffi said.
A $1.24 million state Department of Natural Resources grant, $370,000 in city funds, $290,000 in port money and a $150,000 donation from the H&B Young Foundation paid for the project. The contractor is Larry Doiron of Morgan City, and the sub-contractor is Coastal Construction & Engineering of Broussard.
Officials had to halt work on the wharf several weeks ago, as workers were doing the finishing touches, due to the Atchafalaya River rising over the wharf.
Work to renovate the wharf began in the fall of 2015, but experienced a nine-month delay only a few months into the project after the city halted construction because of the unseasonably high water that winter.
Workers still have to add 40,000 screws to the top decking of the wharf, but have to wait until the river is consistently low enough to get that work done, Grizzaffi said. The only other work left to be finished is some moving of dirt and an entryway to the wharf at Freret Street, he said.
The river probably needs to drop another half-foot to be able to resume work to finish the wharf renovations, the mayor said.