Describing Willowridge Pump Station as a “magnificent structure,” Parish President Larry Cochran officially announced it as the latest important addition to St. Charles Parish’s hurricane protection system.
“It is a big pump station,” Cochran said. “It’s the first big one the parish has taken on in quite some time. The first of a couple to come.”
The $5.7 million project represents the parish’s ongoing efforts to fund and build the West Bank Hurricane Protection Levee, as well as control flooding.
A critical part of the pump station funding came in late July with $1.9 million in grant money from the state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) that allowed continuing work on the Willowridge pump station, T-Wall and improvements to the Willowridge Reach.
The effort highlights Cochran’s position that levees are the parish’s top priority, as well as the funding and state approval needed to move ahead with the project.
“As a councilman I saw the importance of these projects, so when my administration came in we made sure that drainage and flood protection were a top priority,” Cochran said. “It is difficult to procure federal dollars for these projects, but it has made us more aware of the importance of using local funds to do so.”
The newly completed pump station can pump 350 cubic feet per second and will reduce the demand for drainage requirements of the Willowridge and Willowdale subdivisions currently supplied by the Cousins Pump Station.
Construction began on the pump on Aug. 18, 2015.
The last big pump station constructed in the parish was the Cross Bayou Pump Station in Destrehan by the Pontchartrain Levee District. The parish also has made several upgrades to its pump stations in the last few years.
The next pump station scheduled is the Magnolia Ridge Pump Station at an estimated cost of $10.2 million, which will be half funded by grants.
This station will be followed by the Ellington Pump Station.
By district, the parish has three pump stations in District 1 (Luling – Boutte); seven in District 2 (Ama – Luling); three in District 3 (Destrehan); nine stations in District 4 (Des Allemands – Boutte-Bayou Gauche-Luling); 13 stations in District 5 (St. Rose); six stations in District 6 (Norco – Destrehan – New Sarpy), and 10 stations in District 7 (Luling).