Harahan officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have reached an agreement on how to keep the city’s sewer lines flowing while work continues on the “Pump to the River” drainage project that cuts through the city.
Mayor Vinny Mosca, who worried Tuesday that the sewer system would have to be shut down while crews rerouted a main line on Hickory Street, said that after meeting with the corps on Wednesday he was confident the drainage project would continue without inconveniencing Harahan residents.
“The meeting went extremely well,” Mosca said.
Contractors working for the corps are installing a box culvert in the area of Hickory Street as part of the drainage project and will have to temporarily relocate the sewer line to do so, corps spokesman Ricky Boyett said. However, that work, which will occur from midnight to 4 a.m. April 30, should not require the sewer line to be shut down and residents should not see any impacts, Boyett said.
“On almost every (Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction) project we’ve had to relocate or temporarily relocate the lines,” Boyett said. “The contractor is familiar with how it needs to be done in the most efficient way possible.”
The flood control project, usually referred to as SELA, is a massive undertaking aimed at upgrading the drainage systems in the New Orleans area to handle heavy rains. The Pump to the River project is a key element of the overall project and is designed to drain the Soniat Canal into the Mississippi River.
When the new culvert, which will help carry that water, is in place, the corps will restore the sewer line to close to its original configuration, Boyett said. That addresses concerns Mosca raised that the project could cause problems in the future by adding turns to what is now a straight sewer line.
Mosca said the city will have inspectors on site as the work is done April 30 to make sure there are no problems, and a truck will be in place to haul any sewage that may spill to another lift station in the city.
“We’re going to monitor the completion of the project and hope the residents are satisfied that we won’t disrupt their sewer service,” Mosca said.