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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SELA Phase 1 - dumping into Monticello's bottleneck

The article in the Times Picayune today (in full below)  indicates that Phase 1 of our nightmare is starting. 

We all know, from conversations with representatives at the Corps of Engineers, this means that eventually more water will get dumped faster into the Monticello Canal.  This means that the Monticello (which *already* fills during heavy rainfall) will fill faster.  We also know that without an increase in the capacity at the railroad tracks (near Airline) that this will backup in Monticello and eventually backup into the houses in Hollygrove and Carrollton and Broadmoor and Fountainebleau.   When there are very high water levels in the Monticello the drains in the streets start backing up.

Don't believe us. Ask the Corps of Engineers and S&W about the restriction (narrowing) of the Monticello at the railroad tracks near Airline. They will tell you it is real. They will tell you it is a potential problem.  They will tell you that they were working with Joseph Cao when he was in Congress to get monies to address the issue.

So our question is: where is the money to eliminate the restriction?  Without this money and a plan all that is being done is moving water from Uptown into Hollygrove, Carrollton and Broadmoor.  Our understanding was that Congress was being lobbied to provide funding to allow for the restriction to be removed.  Can anyone provide an update on the comprehensive plan for the SELA projects and how the Monticello drains (or doesn't because of the restriction) into the flow also coming from Palmetto and into the 17th Street Canal?

The article from the Times Picayune today (in full below)
The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $27.1 million contract to increase drainage for the Carrollton area with improvements to an underground concrete canal along South Claiborne Avenue between Monticello Avenue and Leonidas Street. The project, part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project, is aimed at allowing the drainage system to accommodate runoff from a 10-year rainfall event.

A 10-year rainfall  in New Orleans represents 9 inches of rain in 24 hours, a corps spokeswoman said.
The 38-month project will be built by Louisiana-based Cajun Constructors Inc., and includes about 2,500 feet of covered canal and the relocation of sewer and water lines to accommodate the project. A notice to proceed will be issued to the company this month, and the job is expected to be completed in the winter of 2014.
The new canal will parallel an existing canal in the South Claiborne Avenue neutral ground and will tie in to the existing Monticello Canal and to a similar new canal to be constructed under the South Claiborne Avenue Phase 2 contract at Leonidas Street. The new canal will be built in the traffic lane closest to the neutral ground in the west-bound roadway, and will require the closure of adjacent traffic lanes at times.
The New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board will brief the public on the project at a meeting that is not yet scheduled. The S&WB will brief residents along Napoleon Avenue about a similar project at a meeting Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at The Salvation Army, 4526 South Claiborne Ave.
The second phase of the Claiborne project, including canal improvements on Claiborne between Leonidas and Lowerline streets, will be awarded next spring.
This is the 13th SELA contract awarded in New Orleans, financed with money made available by Congress in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, with 35 percent of the cost borne by the S&WB.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can at least mention that there is a canal-widening project going on right now, on the river side of that "constriction", about 400 feet west of it, in Jefferson. The effect of which, theoretically, is that water heading lakebound in the Monticello Canal would (in part) be allowed to divert to the left and head back toward Jeff Hwy/Earhart, maybe ultimately to the swale near Causeway -- at least as a temporary holding measure or capacity-increasing measure. Keep an eye on it.