Posts Tagged ‘Lake Pontchartrain’

Painful Symbolism at the Twin Span Bridge

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
A Critical Route

A Critical Route

Tar balls from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have entered Lake Pontchartrain where they have been seen as far away as Slidell, a community west of the Twin Span Bridge. The barges placed at the Rigolets were apparently unable to stop the advance of the tar balls; workers have removed more than 1,500 pounds of the oily waste from the lake. Local officials believe that dispersants pushed the tar balls under water, which then advanced and resurfaced past the protective wall of the barges at the Rigolets. Recovery workers may have to reconsider the benefits of using dispersants to break down the oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lake Pontchartrain is a robust ecosystem of water life and residents enjoy fishing and crabbing in the area. But beyond the environmental damage, the presence of the tar balls floating past the Twin Span Bridge must be emotionally upsetting for the symbolism. Rebuilding the Twin Span Bridge after Hurricane Katrina destroyed it was a top priority, as it is critical to inter-state commerce. No doubt Louisianans are reliving their most awful days as the tar balls in the lake float past the bridge.