Featuring the world's largest drainage pump station and largest navigable floodgate in the U.S., the $1-billion Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex is a critical part of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System that will provide the New Orleans area with 100-year-event flood protection and storm surge defense.

Photo courtesy of Gulf intracoastal Constructors
Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex.

Gulf Intracoastal Constructors, a joint venture of Kiewit Infrastructure South and Traylor Brothers Inc., completed construction in June 2012.

Located just south of the Algiers and Harvey canals, the complex comprises multiple structures across the entire waterway.

These include a massive pumping station constructed of 56,900 cu yd of concrete and 12 million lb of rebar, a "combi-wall" cofferdam, a 225-ft sector gate with two leaves each weighing 660 tons, 275 linear ft of closure wall and a floodwall consisting of 17,249 cu yd of concrete.

The pump station complex is longer than two football fields and is equipped with 11 flower pot-type pumps, each powered by a 70-ton, 5,400-horsepower engine. With this kind of power, the station is capable of pumping stormwater at a rate of about 20,000 cu ft per second—fast enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in three seconds.

Key Players

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New Orleans District

General Contractor: Gulf Intracoastal Constructors (a JV of Kiewit Infrastructure South and Traylor Brothers Inc.), Belle Chase, La.

Lead Design: Bioengineering Arcadis LLC, Metairie, La.; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans

Structural: HNTB, New York and Kansas City, Mo.; Arcadis US Inc., Toledo, Ohio

Submitted by Arcadis and Kiewit Infrastructure South Co.