Major improvements coming to Bayou Pigeon Boat Landing

(Graphic courtesy Iberville Parish Government)

$2.5 million Iberville Parish project funded by Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority grant

Louisiana anglers and boating enthusiasts all suffer from the ailments of deteriorating public boat launches throughout the state. Cracked launching pads, rotten deck boards and minimal parking areas littered with trash all plague what an enjoyable experience should be.

Many communities, however, have attempted to live up to the Sportsman’s Paradise mantra by exacting repairs and levying beautification projects.

With the Bayou Pigeon Boat Landing being a popular launch location, the Iberville Parish Government seized the opportunity to make significant improvements with a $2.5 million grant totally funded by the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA).

Considering the existing landing will remain free to the public, the funding can benefit all citizens in the local communities. Expansion plans were announced on May 1 and the project has already been navigated through the permitting process mandated by the Corps of Engineers. Now that it has gained approval, the public bid process has been opened and a construction company will soon be selected to break ground.

“Bayou Pigeon is the most heavily used launch on the east side of the Atchafalaya,” said Chris Daigle, president of Iberville Parish.

According to Daigle, Bayou Pigeon’s present launching situation can be daunting. After launching boats into the water, they must be maneuvered and tied off in an area, making accessing tow vehicles and trailers cumbersome. The improvement plan will address these issues, adding convenience to the launching experience.

Five additional lanes

To accept the present and growing number of users, the CPRA grant will provide funding for an additional five lanes to the existing launch facility. New wood piers will also be provided, making launching and retrieving boats easier and providing better access for those wishing to fish from the banks.

While increasing launch capacity with more lanes, Daigle reasons that use will inevitably increase as well. Surfaced in gravel, the project will also include expanding the existing parking area to accommodate the prospective new boaters.

(Graphic courtesy Iberville Parish Government)

Since Daigle considers beautification a critical component of his community, he feels measures should be taken to ensure litter is controlled at the new and improved facility. Considering the amount of garbage generated from boating and angling, Daigle said the improvement plan would include a contained garbage area with a potential slab poured in place to support garbage containers. He added that fencing the garbage collection area may also be a possibility.

Attempting to meet the needs of all his constituents, Daigle added that the project would include the construction of a pavilion for gatherings and other public use. Provisions for handicapped access are also included in the improvement plans.

While the public bidding process is currently underway, Daigle could not provide construction costs or a potential completion date. He, however, remains excited about construction crews breaking ground and seeing the project finished for the public to enjoy.

“It’s going to be up to speed like the rest of the new boat launches,” he said.