Work underway on Destrehan pump station
An $18.8 million pump station that will help drain water from Prospect Avenue in Norco to Interstate 310 in St. Rose is now under construction and should be completed by September 2011, according to Steve Wilson, president of the Pontchartrain Levee District.
The pump station will be located at Cross Bayou near Airline Drive in Destrehan and was built at no additional cost to parish taxpayers. The station was funded using $7.3 million from the state Department of Transportation, $6.5 million from the Pontchartrain Levee District and $5 million combined from both Shell and Motiva.
“I got questioned a million times when I said the pump isn’t going to cost taxpayers a penny,” Wilson said. “Of course all of the money is taxpayer money, but the parish is not passing additional taxes for the pump station, the levee district is not passing additional taxes for the pump. It truly is not going to cost a penny.”
The station is designed to pump 1,300 cubic feet of water per second, which translates to 580,000 gallons per minute.
Wilson said that the contractor told him the pump station would be completed by the time hurricane season begins. He also said that the Cross Bayou station can pump water right now in case of emergency using temporary pumps.
The project, which was in the design phase in 2005, was originally set to go out to bid in 2008. However, it was pushed back by new criteria set by the Army Corps of Engineers for hurricane levees.
“There have been four standard changes between the initial design and the finished project,” Wilson said. “But it’s like the corps is building it. We have sent everything to the corps and it meets all the latest and greatest.”
But that hasn’t made the cost increase that much. Wilson said that prior to 2005 they were looking at spending around $15 million for a pump station.
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