NEW ORLEANS – At the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) monthly meeting today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presented an update regarding the Outfall Canal Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps, including initial discussions of how they can be constructed to be consistent with the various options that are under discussion. The Corps also reminded the Levee Authority that construction of the permanent system cannot move forward until the State signs a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the Army. That action is currently pending with no expected resolution date.
“Public safety is the first priority,” said Dan Bradley, Branch Chief for Permanent Pumps. “That’s why we are committed to providing a solution for a robust perimeter protection at the three Outfall Canals.”
The Corps continues to remind the community that the interim structures were not designed for long term operation. The temporary pumps and closure structures at the three outfall canals have a limited service life, or until 2011 - 2013.
There are various public positions for permanent perimeter protection at the outfall canals, commonly referred to as Options 1, 2 and 2a. Permanent replacements of the temporary pump stations at the outfall canals are necessary no matter what options are built.
During the presentation, Bradley showed how the permanent pump stations can accommodate other options. “We know how to engineer the project and build it for adaptability,” explained Bradley, as he explained the potential construction project. “But even if we started today, it will take until about 2014 to complete the work, pushing the temporary pump service life to the limit. That’s risky business to the surrounding community.”
Public safety can be ensured by proceeding now to construct the permanent canal closures and pump stations with adaptable features that make construction of other enhancements possible whenever they are authorized and funded.
Without a PPA between the state and Corps of Engineers, no project can move forward. To date, none has been signed for permanent pumps. “The clock is ticking,” said Bradley.
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Release no. 09-047