Second St. Bernard Parish floodwall can now defend against a 100-year storm

Published April 20, 2011

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Team New Orleans, today achieved a major risk reduction milestone in St. Bernard Parish with a concrete pour at the final section of floodwall along the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) between Bayou Dupre and Highway 46 (see map). This approximately 7.5-mile stretch of floodwall is now able to defend against a storm surge event that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year, or a 100-year storm surge event.

“This project is essential in reducing the risk of storm surge flooding to residents and businesses in St. Bernard Parish,” said Chris Gilmore, project manager for all hurricane-related levee, floodwall and gate construction projects in St. Bernard Parish. “The completion of this project goes a long way in fortifying the parish and reducing the risk of flood inundation.”

This project is one of six interdependent risk reduction projects in St. Bernard Parish. The floodwall between Bayou Dupre and Highway 46 was built by St. Bernard Levee Partners, L.L.C., a joint venture of URS Corporation, James Construction, Inc., and Obayashi Corporation, for $281 million. It measures 26 to 32 feet above sea level and runs parallel to the former MRGO shipping channel. It is the third St. Bernard Parish risk reduction project to achieve the 100-year design elevation.

The floodwall running along the MRGO between Bayou Bienvenue and Bayou Dupre achieved the 100-year level of risk reduction in March 2011. The vehicle gate at Highway 46 has also already achieved the 100-year level of risk reduction.

Additional risk reduction features still under construction in St. Bernard Parish include an approximately 8-mile floodwall between Highway 46 in Verret and the Caernarvon Canal, floodwall tie-ins at the recently-installed Bayou Dupre sector gate, a sector gate at the Caernarvon Canal, floodwalls that cross the Caernarvon Canal and that tie into the Mississippi River levee, and gates at Highway 39 and the adjacent Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing in Caernarvon.

“All remaining risk reduction projects will be completed in St. Bernard Parish prior to the start of the 2011 hurricane season,” said Gilmore.

Release no. 11-086