NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will initiate the process of gradually opening the Morganza Floodway on June 2, 2019 to prevent overtopping of the control structure. The slow-opening process will take three days during which time USACE will limit accumulation in the floodway to one foot per day. The corps anticipates that a diverted flow of 150,000 cubic feet per second by June 5 will be required to keep the river below the structure’s elevation of 60 feet.
Highway 1 crosses the control structure north of the town of Morganza. During the initial opening process on June 2, the portion of the highway adjacent to and crossing the floodway will be closed to vehicular traffic by the Louisiana State Police beginning at 10 a.m. and remain closed until no later than 5 p.m. This closure is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the site during the initial operation. Residents and commuters are urged to incorporate the road closure into their planning for Sunday.
Following the initial operation, USACE anticipates minimal future traffic impacts as future bays are opened. All drivers are urged to exercise extreme caution when crossing the structure. Under no circumstances should a vehicle stop on the bridge. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) are not allowed at the structure or over USACE property.
Because of site conditions, the opening event will be limited to essential personnel and media. The location and site conditions of the Morganza Control Structure vary greatly from that of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway in terms of space, access and safety. As a result, USACE is unable to provide public access to the area during Sunday’s initial opening. For those wishing to view the opening process, the New Orleans District will live stream the event on its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usacenola.
Additionally, the New Orleans District will provide regular updates regarding the 2019 Mississippi River High Water event and operation of the Morganza Floodway via its Facebook, Twitter account twitter.com/TeamNewOrleans and website www.usace.army.mil.
Release no. 19-020