Preparation work is underway on the part of the pipeline extension that will go through Calcasieu Parish. The expansion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which transports crude oil, will extend from Lake Charles to St. James Parish. Work is already underway along Gauthier Road and other areas in Southwest Louisiana. In all, the pipeline is to extend 163 miles.
Calcasieu Police Jury officials confirm they've granted some 30 culvert permits for prep work and multiple permits to grant right of way for the construction. Officials say the company will need a Calcasieu Development permit once they begin laying pipeline. Calcasieu Police Jurors have endorsed the project.
Still, some elected officials who support the pipeline, like Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette, understand why there are concerns.
"Pipelines, location canals, spoil banks have ruined a good part of the basin. What these people are concerned for, they want it stopped," said Collette.
Yet he would like to see construction resume.
"Bayou Bridge Pipeline to my understanding, seeing the presentations, and it's legal, it will not harm the basin and it will put jobs in the area-- something we can't go against—jobs," he said.
Proponents of the pipeline have said they will take extra care in the basin by using specialized construction techniques and restoring areas they cross to preserve the flow.
The project web site says it will generate more than $420 million dollars in wages through about 2500 construction jobs.The company building the pipeline has appealed the judge's order halting part of the construction.