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Bayou Lafourche, originally called Chetimachas River or La Fourche des Chetimaches, (the fork of the Chitimacha), is a 106-mile-long (171 km) bayou in southeastern Louisiana, United States, that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The bayou is between Louisiana Highway 1 on the west, and Louisiana Highway 308 on the east and is known as "the longest Main Street in the world." It flows through parts of Ascension, Assumption, and Lafourche parishes. Today, approximately 300,000 Louisiana residents drink water drawn from the bayou.
Bayou Lafourche Wikipedia
The name Lafourche is from the French for "the fork", and alludes to the bayou's large outflow of Mississippi River water. The first settlements of Acadians in southern Louisiana were near Bayou Lafourche and Bayou des Écores, which led to a close association of the bayou with Cajun culture.
It was formerly a Mississippi River outlet (distributary), but was dammed at Donaldsonville in 1905. The dam cut off nourishment and replenishment of a huge wetland area of central Louisiana. It changed the formerly flowing bayou into a stagnant ditch.
The Bollinger Shipyards, founded by Donald G. Bollinger, was launched on Bayou Lafourche in 1946.
A project to reconnect Bayou Lafourche to the Mississippi River at Donaldsonville is under design. The plan is to use a control structure to regulate the water discharge. The purpose is to mitigate the accelerated land loss that followed the interruption of the distributary flow, and to improve water quality in the bayou.
From north to south, the following roads and railroads cross the bayou (almost all connecting LA 1 to LA 308):LA 3089 (Albert Street) in Donaldsonville
Union Pacific Railroad Livonia Subdivision in Donaldsonville
Rondinaud Road in Donaldsonville
LA 998 at Belle Rose
LA 403 at Paincourtville
LA 70 Spur
Bridge Street at Plattenville
former Texas and Pacific Railway (now open to non-motorized traffic)
LA 1008 at Napoleonville
LA 1010 at Ingleside
LA 1011 at Supreme
LA 1247 at Labadieville
St. John Bridge
former railroad in Thibodaux
LA 20 (St. Patrick Street) in Thibodaux
Canal Boulevard in Thibodaux
Banker Drive (no motor vehicles) in Thibodaux
BNSF Railway/Union Pacific Railroad Lafayette Subdivision at Lafourche
LA 649 (St. Charles Swing Bridge) at St. Charles
Raceland Lift Span Bridge
LA 182 (Raceland Lift Bridge) at Raceland
former LA 364
LA 654 (Champagne-Harrelson Memorial Bridge)
LA 655 (Rita Bridge) at Lockport
LA 3220 (Bollinger Bridge)
Valentine Bridge at Valentine
former LA 310 at Larose
LA 657 (Larose Pontoon Bridge)
Le Pont D'or at Cut Off
Cote Blanche Bridge
LA 3162 (South Lafourche Bridge)
Galliano Pontoon Bridge at Galliano
LA 308 (Golden Meadow Lift Bridge) in Golden Meadow
LA 1 (Gateway to the Gulf Expressway) at Leeville
The film Southern Comfort is set on Bayou Lafourche.
At the end of Post Office by Charles Bukowski, protagonist Henry Chinaski quits his job at the Los Angeles post office to "pick up 10 or 20 grand for 3 months trapping at Bayou La Fourche. [...] Muskrats, nutria, mink, otter... coon. All I need is a pirogue."