FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Relocating the Road Can Be a Cost Effective Mitigation Measure   [open pdf - 38KB]

"Catahoula Parish has had a tumultuous relationship with the Ouachita and Black Rivers as these rivers are prone to high-velocity flooding. Soil erosion occurs naturally, but certain factors such as water and wind can accelerate, and worsen, its effects. In the parish, floodwaters from the rivers damaged nearby roadways, prompting parish officials to seek mitigation measures to break the cycle of destruction and repair. 'We had fixed sections of Moody Road and Means Lake Road twice. The third time, we decided to really take major action,' said Catahoula Parish Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Ellis Boothe. 'It wasn't economically feasible to rebuild the roads in their original location. Yet I wanted the best fix within the allowable realm.' In 2009, heavy rainfall resulted in high-velocity flooding that undercut and washed away Moody Road's embankment right-of-way at four places near the Black River. The same flood event did similar damage to a large section of embankment on Means Lake Road beside the Ouachita River. A cost-benefit analysis showed relocating the roads would be significantly more cost effective than repairing the roads. The parish received funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance 406 Mitigation Program to help fund the two roadway relocation projects."

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