Corps construction to close Belle Chasse Tunnel for the weekend

Published Aug. 23, 2012

Closure scheduled from August 24 through August 27

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, in coordination with its partners at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) and Plaquemines Parish Government will temporarily close the Belle Chasse Tunnel from Aug. 24 through Aug. 27, 2012 to accommodate construction and ensure public safety. This work is part of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, which reduces the risk associated with a storm surge event that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year, or a 100-year storm surge.

“The tunnel will close beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening to allow workers to adjust and test the overhead roller gates,” said Ted Carr, project manager. “The tunnel will reopen to traffic on Monday morning at 5:00 a.m. An additional tunnel closure is scheduled to occur within the next few weeks to upgrade the existing pumping system.”

The Belle Chasse Tunnel is part of Louisiana State Hwy 23 and typically allows two lanes of southbound traffic to pass beneath the Intracoastal Waterway in Plaquemines Parish. During the temporary weekend tunnel closure, a single lane of traffic in each direction (north and south) will be re-routed onto the Belle Chasse Bridge. The weekend re-routing will be similar to the LaDOTD’s monthly maintenance closures of the tunnel. In accordance with LaDOTD guidance, signage near the tunnel will remind drivers of the re-routing.

As construction of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System continues, residents and commuters are urged to use caution near active construction sites. If at any time there are questions about construction of the system, call the Corps’ toll free Construction Hotline at 877-427-0345.

Ken Holder

Release no. 12-039