For three days in 2005, flooding from Hurricane Katrina cut off the only road to Port Fourchon. Officials had to decide: did the risk of future flooding justify the cost of raising the roadway out of the Gulf's rising waters?

At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.