“Great Wall of Louisiana”
The 1.8 mile-long, $1.3 billion Lake Borgne Storm Surge Barrier is the largest civil-works, design-build construction project in the history of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After its construction in 2013, the Corps transferred operation and maintenance responsibilities to the Flood Protection Authority – East.
A Complex System
The Surge Barrier is a complex system made of concrete and steel that is located at the intersection of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO). It includes a monolithic flood barrier of 1,071 “soldier” pilings at 140 feet in length, 26 feet above sea level, and 240 feet in length “battered” piles extending to 200 feet underground. Adjoined to the barrier wall is a 150-foot-wide sector gate, a bypass barge gate, and a 56 foot wide vertical lift gate. Combined with other features of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, it is designed to prevent a 100-year storm surge from Lake Borgne, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) from inundating the Metropolitan New Orleans area, including New Orleans, New Orleans East, the Ninth Ward, Gentilly, and St. Bernard Parish.