Friday morning, the Corps of Engineers, elected leaders, and other officials broke ground on the final big piece of 100 year storm protection in New Orleans.
The work will bring new, permanent pump stations to the outfall canals — the Orleans, London, and 17th Street canals — leading to Lake Pontchartrain.
The current pumps meet specifications for 100 year protection, but they were designed to be temporary until permanent ones could be put in place.
Senator David Vitter was among the speakers at the ground breaking. He told the crowd that now it’s time to focus on expanding storm protection to other areas.
“Protection for the north shore including a barrier near the Rigolets, important protection for upriver. We saw how vulnerable the were during Hurricane Isaac,” Vitter said.
The new pump stations will take nearly four years to complete at a cost of more than $600 million.