GALVEZ — Ascension Parish officials broke ground Monday on a $15.8 million pump station at Henderson Bayou.

The pump station project was first proposed as part of a 1983 parish sales tax to prevent flooding in the eastern part of the parish.

The project includes construction of a levee, floodgate and pump station at Henderson Bayou near Galvez.

The East Ascension Consolidated Gravity Drainage District No. 1 Board of Commissioners awarded a $15.892 million contract in July to Cajun Constructors Inc for the construction of the floodgate, levee and pump station.

The pump station will have two 500-cubic-feet-per-second pumps, East Ascension Drainage Director Bill Roux said.

The Henderson Bayou project includes a 1,100-foot-long, 140-foot-high levee and a floodgate.

The structure is designed to stop backwater in the Amite River from flowing upstream into Henderson Bayou and flooding the Galvez area.

The project, which is expected to cost $21 million when engineering land and other costs are included, is expected to be complete in late 2012 or early 2013.