JP's 'Pump to the River' project continues taking shape

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 7 at 6:02 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

HARAHAN, La. -- The streets were perfectly dry in Dawn Cedor's Harahan neighborhood Sunday, but over the years, heavy rains here have caused big problems.

"We had water the last storm and we had to redo our flooring, our carpet. Our furniture got messed up. It was pretty bad, you know, because it made a mess of everything," Cedor said.

In an effort to prevent future floods in the area, work is underway on a massive drainage project known as "Pump to the River.”

The system is designed to help flood-prone neighborhoods across Harahan, River Ridge and parts of Elmwood -- something many have been pushing for nearly two decades.

"It has taken since 1995 -- the flood of '95 -- to finally convince all of the parties that this is the best path forward," said Jefferson Parish Public Works Director Kazem Alikhani.

Alikhani said crews are now working on a critical phase of the project, construction on a new pump station near Hickory and Mounes in Harahan.

It'll ultimately divert water at 1200 cubic feet per second directly to the Mississippi River instead of allowing it to take its natural six-mile course to the lake.

"Historically, all of our pump stations are closer to the lowest point, which is Lake Ponchartrain. The topography falls from the levee to the lake," Alikhani said. "But now, we're reversing the flow and we're going to the river, which will really help this area much quicker and faster."

Carrying a price tag of $150 million, it’s a first-of-its-kind project, officials said.

While construction isn't expected to be completed until 2017, many hope it'll bring much needed relief.

"As long as it works and helps the neighbors, we're good," Cedor said.

 

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