By Sgt. Michael L. Owens
Louisiana National Guard
PORT FOURCHON, La., (5/21/10) -- Members of the 527th and 769th Engineer Battalions of the Louisiana National Guard began constructing a barrier wall in an effort to keep oil-tainted water from reaching Bay Champagne, a coastal lake critical to Louisiana's fishing industry here along the coast May 21.
"The units arrived around 7 a.m., and we immediately began doing everything we could to get this project started," said Capt. Jeffrey L. Giering, commander of the 928th Sapper Company. "Just like every other project, we want to work hard and fast to get this done for Louisiana."
"This project is extremely important because these waters have several different purposes," said Tim Osborn of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We really appreciate the Guard's work and efforts out here."
The wall will consist of about 1,000 Hesco Concertainer units that will be constructed along two miles of shoreline. These units are multi-cellular wall systems, composed of linked Hesco baskets, which are manufactured from welded coated steel wire mesh.
Each five-basket unit will be joined together with vertical coil joints, and then the entire wall will be filled with about 7,500 cubic yards of sand. Project engineers predict that the wall will take a few days to complete.
"These units are being used because they have been proven durable in many situations," said Dennis Barkemeyer, a senior technical representative with Hesco.
"We've been all over the coast participating in missions," said Spc. Timothy Avant, a heavy equipment operator. "We are just happy to be working and doing something that will be a great help to our state."