Projects

Bayou St. John –Removal of the obsolete flood control structure at Lake Pontchartrain

End Date: 1/1/2015

Objectives

1 – To attain permits for removal of old flood control structure.
2 – To remove old flood controlstructure hindering water flow into Bayou St. John.
3 – To schedule and implement openings of the new flood gate at Lake Pontchartrain.
4 – To monitor the increased recruitment of larval and juvenile estuarine fish, crabs and mussels.
5 – To monitor the improved water quality in Bayou St. John and City Park lagoons and 
waterways.
6 – To increase use of the Bayou by recreational groups.

Methodology

The Orleans Levee District (OLD) has authority over the flood control structures located in Bayou St. John, New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the structures, built in 1962, is outdated and has been replaced by a more modern flood gate. The OLD plans to remove the old flood control structure located at Robert E. Lee Blvd and Bayou St. John. Burt-Kleinpeter, Inc. researched the hydrology of the area and has made recommendations on removing the structure. Permits will be attained from the Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. The RFP will be advertised and awarded to a contractor. The contractor will remove the old flood control structure. Monitoring of the Bayou will continue by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and other organizations.

Rationale

Bayou St. John was once a natural tributary of Lake Pontchartrain, navigable from the Lake into the heart of the city of New Orleans. It was used as the main transportation waterway of goods into the city. Currently, the two flood control structures on the bayou inhibit both navigation and the natural water flow. The older structure, built in 1962, is composed of a cement bulkhead that incorporates a drain and butterfly valves to allow some water flow. The butterfly valves, meant to remain open, are mostly non-functional, with one valve open and others closed or mostly closed. The new flood gates, meant to replace the older structure, are located approximately 0.25 miles toward the lake from the old structure; these gates have opening and closing capability, which the operation of could increase water and fish access into the bayou. It also has navigation gates that can be opened when water levels allow, but are not presently used.The new flood gate provides flood protection to the city of New Orleans. The old control structure only inhibits the exchange of biota and water from the lake.

Results

Removal of the obsolete flood control structure at Bayou St. John/Lake Pontchartrain