Grand Isle, La. – Jefferson Parish leaders broke ground on Thursday (Dec. 7) on a $4.3 million project to repair a pier and bulkhead damaged by Hurricane Isaac. The pier is located at the end of Oak Lane and operated by the Grand Isle Port Commission, which reported the project is funded by federal, state, and local dollars.
Commission Executive Director Weldon Danos said the rebuilt pier, leased to fishing boats, is expected to bring in an estimated $15,000 annually to the commission for port maintenance.
“Anything that we can do to help [the shrimping industry], like to provide the available boat slips for lease, and that sort of thing, will help them contribute to the economy,” he said. The project is expected to be completed in May 2024, more than 10 years after Hurricane Isaac’s 2012 landfall.
Leaders at the groundbreaking said the project was delayed by rising costs, requiring some back and forth on funding.
“Things don’t happen overnight. The funding, you got to go out there and go hustle for it,” Brian Barthelemy, Grand Isle Councilman said. “Closed mouths don’t get fed. You have to go knock on doors, asking for help, go to the state, and the federal level. Ask these guys for help and they stepped up for it.”
The rebuilt pier is expected to create docking for 50 boats, bringing more fishermen and their business into the community.
Grand Isle Supermarket employee and lifelong Grand Isle resident Peyton Scioneaux welcomed the news.
“It really makes an impact to the local people down here, the older folks, and the younger generation. We love seeing people come to the island after the storms, coming back spending time, fishing, doing what they do best,” he said.