Section of New Orleans will try new approach to flood control

Public works projects in a part of the Big Easy, the Gentilly Resiliency District, will be designed to retain and control water rather than to try to keep it behind levees and floodwalls.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | February 3, 2016
Section of New Orleans will try new approach to flood control
Section of New Orleans will try new approach to flood control

For the first time, New Orleans will turn to a retain-and-control storm water strategy in one of the city’s most ambitious infrastructure projects. Public works projects in a part of the Big Easy, the Gentilly Resiliency District, will be designed to retain and control water rather than to try to keep it behind levees and floodwalls. Projects will include transformation of miles of neutral grounds into water-absorbing features so that the water won’t have to be pumped to outfall canals. 

Some median strips will become green corridors with swales, trees, shrubs, and water permeable sidewalks. Existing live oaks will be retained and protected. Another project, the Mirabeau Water Garden, is a detention pond designed to hold water temporarily. The site will include a pedestrian path and recreation features that will be able to hold floodwater when needed. The federal government awarded the city a $141 million grant for the flood control measures.

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