The U.S. Army Engineer District, New Orleans is determining the correct sizing for sail-through structures to be constructed along the new proposed Morganza to the Gulf levee system in Louisiana. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, numerous new levees are being constructed to reduce the risk of storm surge flooding. To provide the best protection, waterways north of the new levee system will be shut off from the Gulf of Mexico during storm events. In order to accomplish this protection with minimum impact on the natural environment and waterborne transportation, numerous sail-through structures - each capable of being closed as necessary - are being constructed to allow for continued waterborne transportation between the Gulf of Mexico and areas north of the new levee system. These structures will also allow for the continued movement of water to and from the Gulf of Mexico, thereby minimizing the impact of the new levees on natural habitat along the Louisiana coast. At the request of New Orleans District, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) performed a number of engineering studies in support of efforts to determine the proper size of one of these proposed structures, to be located on the eastern end of Bush Canal near Bayou Terrebonne. Four additional structures (Humble Canal, Bayou Terrebonne, Lapeyrouse Canal, and Bayou Petit Caillou) are also to be constructed in the same vicinity. The Bush Canal structure will consist of a sector gate structure, with additional sluice gates being added if needed. The primary objective of this study was to determine the smallest structure that will provide reasonable velocity fields. The modeling approach applied to size the Bush Canal structure will subsequently be used to size the other sail-through structures. More information can be obtained in ERDC/CHL TR-09-9.
For more information, contact the project lead, Tate McAlpin, U.S. Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Coastal and Hydraulics Lab (CHL)