West bank getting drainage relief

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HAHNVILLE – Construction of a massive pump station is among a trio of projects that are underway to improve drainage in west bank communities of St. Charles Parish.

In Boutte, work is continuing on the Eighty Arpent pump station, which, according to parish spokesperson Renee Simpson, is in its 10th month of construction. Simpson said contractors have spent the past few weeks finishing work on two new diesel-powered 48-inch pumps, bringing the total number of pumps at the station to eight.

“The work represents a 43 percent increase from the station’s current capacity, ”Simpson said. “It now has the ability to move 960 cubic feet of water per second in Boutte and old Luling neighborhoods.”

Simpson said the $6.9 million price tag makes it the parish’s most expensive capital improvement project. She said additional improvements to the station, including new automatic bar screen cleaners, a new deck and access road, a 20-by-30-foot pump building extension and permanent maintenance crane, have already been completed.

In Luling, Simpson said work is close to completion on upgrades to a pump station at Coronado Park, where work is progressing on discharge pipes under Primrose Street that drain into the nearby canal. Two new 18-inch pumps capable of moving 15,600 gallons of water per minute have been also been added, and a permanent backup generator has been installed to keep the station running in the event of a power outage. Simpson said the project was approved by the St. Charles Council in June at a cost of $737,000.

In Bayou Gauche, work is wrapping up on the first of six culvert replacement projects along the No. 10 Canal, which drains area subdivisions. The $1.08 million improvements are part of a $15 million batch of drainage projects funded through FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants.

Simpson said near the end of Pine Street, contractors have installed a new box culvert, improving drainage flow in the area. Similar work is getting started now at Bayou Estates South. Other installations will be performed at Matherne Drive, Pleasant Valley Drive, Dixie Drive and Bayou Estates.