Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) West Closure Complex - Belle Chasse, La.
The GIWW West Closure Complex is a $1 billion hurricane storm surge (flood) protection facility for the city of New Orleans and surrounding areas. This Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract included one of the world’s largest interior drainage pump stations and one of the nation’s largest navigable floodgates (225 feet). The pump station has 11 units and is capable of discharging storm water at a rate of 19,140 cubic feet per second.
A series of flow control sluice gates and 6,500 feet of new levee were also constructed. The project involved 130,000 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete. The team developed specialized mix designs and ran its own on-site batch plant. The cofferdam and dewatering system used vertical wick drains and horizontal drainage blankets.
The project reached a major milestone in June 2011 when eight of the 11 pumps were operational (considered 80 percent), meaning the facility was ready for the 2011 hurricane season and had raised protection to the level of a 100-year storm (one that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year).
GIWW West Closure Complex received numerous awards and recognition for its successes in safety and small business efforts. The project was named ENR’s 2012 Best Civil Works/Infrastructure Project and Best Project of the Year for Texas and Louisiana.