GENTILLY WOODS, La. — On Wednesday morning, joined by local, State, and Federal officials, Mayor LaToya Cantrell celebrated the completion of the Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater Network.
The nearly $15.5M Hazard Mitigation Grant-funded project will reduce flood risk and beautify green spaces in the Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods neighborhoods.
“2021 is going to be the year for green infrastructure in our city, and it’s exemplified in a project that is important for the city, the Pontilly, Pontchartrain Park and surrounding neighborhoods, and for our ongoing work across New Orleans to better manage stormwater. We saw the impact of these improvements as recently as last week when we experienced what is becoming an unprecedented month of rainfall. Pervious pavement, street basins, stormwater lots, bioswales and other improvements hold and move water far more effectively now, which is something to consider as we enter what we expect to be another active hurricane season. I want to thank all of our local, state and federal partners for their support to make this a reality. Without these partnerships, none of this work would be possible,” said Mayor Cantrell.
Later this year, the City is poised to begin construction on more Hazard Mitigation Grant funded projects across the city that can store more than 25 million gallons of stormwater. And several Gentilly Resilience District projects will soon begin construction, following our EPA-award winning Community Adaptation Program which is well under way.
“This is an innovative and creative network of stormwater management solutions. These projects will not only reduce flood risk, but also improve recreational and bicycling opportunities for our residents and connect them to economic opportunity in the water sector,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure.
These projects will not only reduce flood risk, but also improve recreational and bicycling opportunities for our residents and connect them to economic opportunity in the water sector.
Mayor Cantrell also recognized Pontilly Stormwater Program Manager Meagan Williams for her work not only on this project, but also for being named a “CNN Champion for Change” and for being honored by WaterNow as a 2021 Impact and Emerging Leader.
“I want to thank Mayor Cantrell and our partners at DPW, FEMA and GOHSEP for the clear commitment and investment in the future of our city. We all know the challenges we face with managing stormwater. From infrastructure to topography, no matter how incredible our drainage system is, we must face the fact that we cannot pump ourselves out of this situation. And while we at the Sewerage and Water Board are working aggressively to do our part to manage these challenges – we’ve restored our pumps, pulled cars out of canals and created a modern power plan that will stabilize our utility for generations to come – we know we can’t do it alone. Reducing flood risk is key. It takes major commitments and investments like the Pontilly Stormwater Network to ease the massive burden on our drainage system,” said Ghassan Korban, Executive Director, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans.
This new stormwater network extends from Stephen Girard Avenue to Southern University at New Orleans and is funded through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The comprehensive project took about two years to complete and combines a network of bioswales, pervious surfacing, stormwater lots, street basins, green alleyways and stormwater parks. It can now store up to 8.1 million gallons of stormwater and reduce flooding as much as 14 inches during a 10-year rain event.
The project marks several accomplishments, including:
- Installation of pervious pavement in green alleyways and adjacent to SUNO: that will hold about 282,000 gallons of stormwater
- Installation of 24 street basins: that will hold more than 510,000 gallons of stormwater
- Improvement of about 30 stormwater lots: that will hold more than 3 million gallons of stormwater
- Installation of two stormwater parks that will hold more than 3.3 million gallons of stormwater
- Installation of urban bioswales that will hold more than 485,000 gallons of stormwater
- Installation of a Large Bioswale at Joe Bartholomew Municipal Golf Course, which can now hold more than 940,000 gallons of stormwater
- Future improvements to the Dwyer Canal will hold more than 260,000 gallons of stormwater
“The Pontilly Neighborhood Stormwater Project is a $15 million investment in the sustainability and resiliency of District D and the city of New Orleans. It brings green infrastructure strategies to both Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods that reduce flood risk and improve community green space, ensuring that these historic neighborhoods continue to thrive,” said Jared C. Brossett, City Councilmember, District D.
The Project Team included Project Manager Meagan Williams, Construction Manager Calvin Ford, and Outreach Specialist, David Jackson, who has managed the engagement with residents. Contractors included designer CDM Smith and construction contractor Fleming Construction.
The City also acknowledged the New Orleans Redevelopment Association’s Brenda M. Breaux (Executive Director), Seth Knudsen (Director of Real Estate Development & Planning) and Kyle Gilmore (Project Manager, Real Estate Development & Planning) for their partnership.