The Mississippi River was once a tributary of the Missouri River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
Now the Mississippi is being diverted into a dredging facility to make way for a pipeline.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation (LDOT) says the new pipeline is a vital step in the river’s recovery.
It was approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is now tasked with cleaning up the area and assessing its damage.
Dredging operations began this summer after the Louisiana Department to ensure the river was safe for drilling.
The state expects to complete the work in 2020.
LDOT officials say the $2 billion pipeline will allow the river to return to normal, but there’s still work to be done.
“I want to make sure that this project is a successful one,” said LDAOT Commissioner Ed Rolfes.
“We need to make the best use of every inch of the project, including the dredging itself.”
LDAOT says the project will be safer than the current project, which involves drilling for oil and gas, and it’s hoped it won’t be an environmental catastrophe.
LADOT is working with local agencies to address problems with the project.
The state has hired the firm Kiewit and Associates, which has extensive experience in river rehabilitation, to help plan the project and identify projects that can help the river.
One of those projects is a new dredging plant on the Mississippi.
It will consist of a 3.3 million-gallon water tank and a dredge machine, which will haul sand, gravel, concrete and other materials.
For more information on the project: LDOT