kids encyclopedia robot

Bayou Lafourche facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Larose Louisiana aerial view
The intersection of Bayou Lafourche and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Larose, Louisiana. View is to the east-southeast. The bayou runs off towards the Gulf at the top. The waterway crosses the picture left–right. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has installed a floodgate on the bayou, visible at center.

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 flanked by 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.


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.

Mississippi River reintroduction

Riverboat on Bayou Lafourche.

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 943
  • LA 998 at Belle Rose
  • LA 70
  • LA 403 at Paincourtville
  • LA 70 Spur
  • Bridge Street at Plattenville
  • LA 402, Hospital Rd. at Napoleonville
  • 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
  • LA 3185
  • Tiger Drive
  • former railroad in Thibodaux
  • LA 20 (St. Patrick Street) in Thibodaux
  • Canal Boulevard in Thibodaux
  • Banker Drive (no motor vehicles) in Thibodaux
  • Audubon Avenue
  • LA 648
  • Lafourche Crossing, 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
  • US 90
  • former LA 364
  • LA 654 (Champagne-Harrelson Memorial Bridge)
  • LA 655 (Rita Bridge) at Lockport
  • LA 3220 (Bollinger Bridge)
  • Valentine Bridge at Valentine
  • T-Bois Bridge
  • Former LA 310 Pontoon Bridge at Larose
  • LA 657 Vertical Lift Bridge at Larose
  • Le Pont D'or Bridge at Larose
  • Cote Blanche Bridge at Cut Off
  • LA 3162 (South Lafourche Bridge) at Galliano, southern terminus of LA-308
  • Galliano Pontoon Bridge at Galliano
  • LA 308 (Golden Meadow Lift Bridge) in Golden Meadow
  • LA 1 (Gateway to the Gulf Expressway) at Leeville
kids search engine
Bayou Lafourche Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.