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When a city like New Orleans faces a risk the size of a Category 5 hurricane, the solution needs to be just as formidable. Enter the Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) project. Scheduled for completion in 2017, these massive drainage pumping stations and flood gates will play a key role in a multi-billion-dollar hurricane risk reduction system designed to serve the community now and in the future.

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Cubic feet per second combined pumping capacity

Behind the enormous capacity (688 m3/s) of the three stations is a flexible design that features tall flood gates, powerful pumps, and a few dozen generators.

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Miles of piles

Many piles needed to be driven into the ground for this project. When you place all the piles end to end, the length is measured at 48 miles (77 km).

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Seconds to fill

The three pump stations combined have the capacity to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than four seconds.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>New Orleans is a very vulnerable city, it’s got the Gulf on one side, the Mississippi runs through it, and you have Lake Pontchartrain, one of the largest lakes in the US, right behind it. New Orleans has a history of flooding, and every time they’ve come back, they’ve built a safer, stronger system.</p> <p>This project is huge. It’s one of the largest pump stations in the world. It’s currently $615 million budget to build three separate sites at the end of each of the drainage canals to Lake Pontchartrain.</p> <p>Stantec performed geotech, structural, electrical, mechanical design, civil design, hydraulic design... We were basically taking care of the entire project. There was over 450 staff from 55 different offices that converged on this project to make it happen.</p> <p>As far as the pump station itself, we have built a lot of resiliency and redundant design into the systems. The generator facilities that we have for these stations basically gives you enough power to power a small city. So in case the whole city gets flooded, this pump station will still be operational and be able to evacuate the water quicker and help New Orleans bounce back quicker.</p> <p>The most rewarding part of the project has been helping out the community. I went to Tulane University and lived in New Orleans for four years in the 90s and really got a connection to the community, the music, the food. New Orleans has a certain draw to it that really pulls you in. More than professionally working on a project, just being able to just help out; when I tell people what I do, a lot of times they’re just like “thank you, thank you for coming and helping us.”</p>

Marshal your forces

Marshal your forces

We’re leveraging the advantages of design-build to deliver critical infrastructure to New Orleans residents. Our approach? All hands on deck. More than 450 Stantec staff from more than 55 offices are engaged. All are top-notch talents from architectural, civil, structural, geotechnical, mechanical, and electrical engineering, landscape architecture, and project management disciplines.

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<p>On the Gulf Coast of the United States, perhaps no city is more vulnerable to flooding risks than New Orleans.</p> <p>The flash point? Where three outfall canals move stormwater from the city into Lake Pontchartrain.</p> <p>At each of the three canals, we’re designing essential infrastructure to do what mother nature cannot – block the storm surge and clear excess rainwater from the low-lying city.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, with an inventive solution: a single design that can be easily adapted to all three canal sites.</p> <p>Inside the building: vacuum breaker assemblies, pump station control rooms, bridge cranes, pumps with vertical gear motors, and overhead doors are the same across all pump stations.</p> <p>Outside the station: generator buildings, vehicle access platforms and climber screens are common to each design.</p> <p>And underneath the design of siphon discharges, spare parts storage areas and formed suction intakes are shared.</p> <p>With 15-foot-high gates, 17 powerful pumps, and 30 generators, these three stations combined will have the pumping capacity to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in less than four seconds.</p> <p>Our 3-in-1 design reduces costs, speeds up construction, and simplifies operations and maintenance.</p> <p>And it will help make an entire city less vulnerable for decades to come.&nbsp;</p>

Study water's every move

Study water's every move

Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling is a tool commonly used in the automotive and aviation industries to study and predict the movement of fluids. Our hydraulics team thought it could work for water.

As pioneers, we used CFD to model dozens of water and flow scenarios. We could see how fast water is pumped into the lake during a storm event and what happens when a wave from Lake Pontchartrain meets the barrier walls. With this immediate and accurate knowledge of water’s movement and behavior, we could prove that our design would work.

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>We modeled dozens of water and flow scenarios with CFD.&nbsp;</p> <p>Such as, how fast water enters is pumped into the lake during a storm event,</p> <p>Where water will go when pumps start up under normal conditions.</p> <p>And, what happens when a 14-foot wave from Lake Pontchartain meets the barrier wgataells</p> <p>With this immediate and accurate knowledge of water’s movement and behavior, we could prove that our approach would work and build the next crucial test in our design—the physical model.</p>
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<p>The project we’re working on today is the Permanent Canal Closures and Pumping project, and the project is designed to the be final capstone piece in the improvements to the hurricane risk reduction system that have all been implemented after hurricane Katrina in 2005.</p> <p>We’ve built some 1:16 physical scale models and we’re testing their hydraulics. We’ve done lots of computer modeling, and now the proof is in the pudding. We’re testing these models because there’s some things we just can’t see with a computer, we need to actually build a model and test it.</p> <p>We started at the lake, so we’re modelling the entire outfall canal so 3 miles back from Lake&nbsp;<b>Pontchartrain</b>. We’re also modelling the very detailed fluids in and around the pump station and we’re modeling the piping system as well for pressures and flows.</p> <p>We came up with an innovative plan of combining computer and physical models. We were able to tie our simplest models to our most complex model, the ones that we’re running today – the physical models. We’re able to share modeling boundaries, share data, and have each layer of our model, it’s like an onion, each layer is reflecting and building on the other layers of the onion. And so we were able to bring that together in a cost effective manner that gives us all the information we want, and really put our client at ease that we were going to study this with the level of detail that was required.</p> <p>The goals of this project are twofold. The first is to pump water from the interior of the city – the city is surrounded by levies, which effectively forms a bowl, and this pump station will evacuate the rainwater that falls during a hurricane event, or just during a large rainstorm event. And the second objective of the project is to form the final barrier at these three outfall canals. It’s an opening that was present during Katrina and this project will close up those locations.</p> <p>Stantec’s role is lead design consultant, and so across seven different task forces from geotechnical to mechanical to civil, structural, and architecture, we’re coordinating the design of the entire project. We’re also working closely on constructability issues and cost issues with the contractor and ultimately on project delivery and construction for the next three years.</p> <p>Our primary client is the PCCP JV. That joint venture works for the Army Corps, and the Army Corps is working for the community.&nbsp;</p>
Our building models and conceptual visualization studies helped local residents see how our design blends with their environment.
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<p>3D modeling and BIM, two powerful tools in our team’s arsenal, helped meet a tight construction schedule.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Through modeling, we easily shared design elements and construction sequencing with all parties. Updates are provided in real time. Bypass gates, pipes or pumps, or other elements are added as needed, without throwing off the schedule. And contractors reference our models to plan detailed construction activities such as staking, material quoting, inventory, and budgets.</p> <p>With 3D and BIM modeling, we can stay on track and on budget, meeting aggressive targets.&nbsp;</p>

We're better together

Our work begins at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. With a long-term commitment to the people and places we serve, we have the unique ability to connect to projects on a personal level and advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

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