St. Martinville-based Clark Construction Enterprises today begins work on a 3.5-mile levee enlargement stretching from New Westwego Pumping Station to Orleans Village. The project is part of an $8.97 million contract the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' New Orleans district awarded the local company. Ron Clark, who founded CCE in 1999, says the company has nine months to complete the work.

"It's basically a levee job," Clark says, explaining that the stretch of levee will be raised from 11 feet to approximately 14 feet in order to protect the Westwego area from storm surge coming up the Barataria Basin. The project will use about 450,000 cubic yards of clay material from an offsite borrow pit.

Primarily a levee and site work contractor, CCE does about 90 percent of its business for the Corps of Engineers, Clark says. Its largest contract to date, a $13 million project in St. Charles Parish that consists of 600,000 yards of compacted embankment from Bonne Carre Spillway to the New Orleans Airport, is about 70 percent complete.

CCE, which employs 60 people, also has a railroad division.

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