Corps awards contract on Belle Chasse Tunnel project
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District recently awarded a contract for work to remediate groundwater seeping onto the roadway at the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) floodgate construction joint at the Belle Chasse Tunnel on State Highway 23 in Plaquemines Parish.
On Aug. 1, the Army Corps awarded the $567,000 contract to APC Construction, in Harvey. The contract scheduled last for approximately 150 days and will address seepage at the entrance and exit of the tunnel, which during certain weather conditions may increases risk for motorists.
The contract includes adjusting the relief wells to start pumping at a lower ground water elevation; re-injecting the horizontal roadway construction joints with epoxy grout; installing grate covered trenches to capture any potential surface water before it leaks onto the road; and installing a high-friction road surface treatment.
The Corps of Engineers is partnered with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) who is coordinating with the contractor on the traffic plan. The contract will include periodic closures of the tunnel. During the periodic closures, a single lane of traffic in each direction (north and south) will be re-routed onto the Belle Chasse Bridge. In accordance with LaDOTD guidance, signage near the tunnel will remind drivers of the re-routing.
The original HSDRRS work around the Belle Chasse Tunnel includes floodwalls, gates, and earthen levees. Following HSDRRS construction, the Corps of Engineers determined that sheet pile placed below the new floodwall was restricting groundwater from flowing naturally. In addition to pre-existing leaks inside the Belle Chasse Tunnel, the restricted groundwater caused additional water leakage through construction joints at the entrance and exit of the tunnel and onto the roadway.
The Corps implemented several measures to address the issue following construction. A total of eight relief wells were constructed to pump ground water in addition to epoxy grouting construction joints. This new contract will improve the previous measures and ensure they function at a higher level of performance in order to increase motorist safety.
For more information on this project:
Construction Hotline: (877) 427-0345
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