NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hurricane Protection Office awarded CBY Design Builders, a joint venture of CDM, Brasfield & Gorrie, and Yates Construction, the $675 million design-build contract for construction of the Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps Stations project. This is the Corps’ final Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction system contract, designed to achieve a 100-year level-of-risk reduction for the New Orleans area.

Under normal conditions, stormwater from portions of northern New Orleans is pumped into three outfall canals at 17th Street, Orleans Avenue, and London Avenue, where the stormwater then drains by gravity into Lake Pontchartrain. However, during a hurricane or tropical storm event, the lake level can rise, requiring stormwater in the canals to be pumped with additional pumping stations. This project will help ensure public safety by constructing new flood pump stations, flood gates, and associated power generation infrastructure at the mouth of each canal adjacent to the lake.

The new pump station and flood gate system will allow the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) to continue pumping stormwater out of New Orleans into Lake Pontchartrain during extreme weather events. The new flood pumps on each canal have a combined pumping capacity of 24,200 cubic feet per second — fast enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than 4 seconds.

“The CBY team is excited to begin working on this important project that is the final Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System contract award for the East Bank,” said CBY project manager Robert Davis. “Our design-build solution will achieve the stringent contract requirements, minimally affect the surrounding neighborhoods, and reduce operations and maintenance costs for the SWBNO.”