The three main outfall canals in New Orleans are a critical element of the flood control system, serving as drainage conduits for much of the city. The canals run south-to-north near the Orleans Parish lakefront between the Jefferson Parish line and the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) with floodwall-topped levees lining each canal.

The 17th Street Canal extends 13,500 feet from Pump Station 6 to Lake Pontchartrain along the Jefferson Parish line. The Orleans Avenue Canal, between the 17th Street Canal and the London Avenue Canal, runs approximately 11,000 feet from Pump Station 7 to Lake Pontchartrain. The London Avenue Canal extends 15,000 feet north from Pump Station 3 to Lake Pontchartrain about halfway between the Orleans Avenue Canal and the IHNC.

The Corps awarded the approximately $700 million contract to construct Permanent Canal Closures & Pumps (PCCP) at the mouths of the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue outfall canals on April 17, 2013, to PCCP Constructors JV.

The PCCP has replaced the Interim Closure Structures (ICS), which were constructed in 2006, as permanent and more sustainable measure for reducing the risk of a 100-year level storm surge entering the outfall canals. The notice to proceed was issued on May 6, 2013, and the project was turned over to the local sponsor in May of 2018. The existing Interim Closure Structures are no longer in use and will be removed.


The PCCP are composed of permanent gated storm surge barriers and brick façade pump stations at or near the lakefront.  The pumps move rainwater out of the canals, around the gates and into Lake Pontchartrain during a tropical weather event, and are equipped with stand-alone emergency power supply capacity to operate independently of any publicly provided utility.

The PCCP at 17th Street consists of six 1,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) pumps and two 900 cfs pumps and has a total pumping capacity of 12,600 cfs; the PCCP at Orleans Avenue consists of three 900 cfs pumps and has a total pumping capacity of 2,700 cfs; the PCCP at London Avenue consists of four 1,800 cfs pumps and two 900 cfs pumps and has a total pumping capacity of 9,000 cfs.