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Union Pacific Railroad this week began construction on a new bridge over Bayou Lafourche in Donaldsonville, La.The new bridge is an important part of Louisiana's effort to reintroduce freshwater from the Mississippi River into Bayou Lafourche, UP and state officials said in a press release.The project's first phase involves the construction of a temporary bridge over the bayou alongside existing track, which will allow cranes and heavy equipment to access the area without interrupting train traffic. When completed, 45 pilings will support the new structure which will consist of two sets of railroad tracks.Although the existing bridge meets UP's operational needs, the project is in line with the Class I's environmental commitment, said UP Director of Public Affairs Drew Tessier.Once the new bridge is built, water will flow unimpeded through the crossing, which will allow immediate increased pumping capacity, said Ben Malbrough, executive director of the Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District (BLFWD)."The Bayou Lafourche Fresh Water District can move forward on a project that more than doubles their current pumping capacity into Bayou Lafourche, as well as makes the potable water source for over 300,000 people more resilient," he said. "Desperately needed fresh water will be provided to combat saltwater intrusion and prevent further wetland loss in lower Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes."
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