Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Storm surge barrier going up in New Orleans

Environment News Service: Defense of Greater New Orleans' most vulnerable area from storm surge has begun with the groundbreaking for the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lake Borgne Surge Barrier Project, the largest design-build civil works project in Corps history.

It is unusual for a civil works project to be designed and constructed simultaneously, but the Corps says the expedited process is necessary given the compressed timeframe to achieve 100-year flood protection in 2011.

When completed, the $700 million surge barrier, similar to a floodwall but much larger, will run for nearly two miles near the confluence of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet. The 26 foot high barrier will run north-south from a point just east of Michoud Canal on the north bank of the waterway and just south of the existing Bayou Bienvenue flood control structure.

Navigation gates will be constructed where the barrier crosses the GIWW and Bayou Bienvenue to reduce the risk of storm surge coming from Lake Borgne and/or the Gulf of Mexico. The openings for each gate will be 150 feet wide….

Aerial view of a northern section of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana at the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). US Army Corps of Engineers

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