A trio of drainage projects now underway – including pump station and culvert upgrades – are set to improve drainage in the towns of Boutte, Luling and Bayou Gauche.
In Boutte, work is continuing on the massive Eighty Arpent pump station, which is entering its tenth month of construction.
Within the last few weeks, contractors have been busy putting the finishing touches on two new diesel-driven 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, with the ability to move 960 cubic feet of water per second.
The $6.9 million venture is currently one of the parish’s most expensive capital projects, with most of the cost being funded through a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant.
"The visuals on this project are quite impressive; with the pumps themselves standing as tall as five men," Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. said. "These extensive improvements will lead to better drainage for Boutte and parts of old Luling."
Additional improvements to the station that have already been completed include new automatic bar screen cleaners, a new deck and access road, a 20-by-30-foot pump building extension and permanent maintenance crane.
In Luling, work is close to completion on upgrades to the Coronado Park pump station number two. The work has gone smoothly, with two short weekend road closures needed to lay new discharge pipes under Primrose Street into the adjacent Primrose Canal and test the pumps.
Two new 18-inch pumps capable of moving 15,600 gallons of water per minute have been added, and additional drainage structures in the vicinity are being completed. A permanent backup generator has also been installed, ensuring the station will function in the event of power outages. The St. Charles Parish Council approved the project in June 2011 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 $1,077,600 improvements are part of a $15 million batch of drainage projects funded through FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants. 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.