City Council committee authorizes Pontilly Park and Mirabeau Avenue drainage projects
City officials voted this week to move forward on two new drainage projects in Gentilly — the Pontilly Park drainage project to create a storm water network and will beautify green spaces in the Pontchartrain Park and Gentilly Woods neighborhoods, and the Mirabeau drainage project that will focus on substantial flood mitigation through innovative storm water management.
These drainage projects are funded by the National Disaster Resilience Competition, which awarded the city $141 million to use sustainable methods and green infrastructure to reduce flood risk and build the first resilience district in Gentilly.
Cedric Grant, the executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board, said during a meeting of the City Council’s budget committee meeting on Thursday (June 30) that designs of the drainage projects could begin being finalized after the projects’ authorization. After that, further details of each project can be provided to the public.
“At every stage of design and development, we will have public meetings to engage stakeholders throughout the process,” Grant said.
After Councilman Jason Williams’ brought up community engagement, Grant explained that a “wide net” will be cast in getting community members, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits, and more involved because the intent of these projects is to create space and live with the water, which Grant said the city is not used to.
“What we’re about to do is kind of counter-intuitive to the way we’ve lived,” Grant said.
Williams said he appreciated Grant’s consideration in involving the people with the city’s evolution, because if people can play a role in the process, they can understand the city’s need for efforts in sustainability.
For more information on the drainage project designs being finalized, see here for the Pontilly Park project, and see below for a description of the Mirabeau Avenue project’s scope of work, according to New Orleans’ Department of Public Works.
“The project is intended to feature innovative stormwater management best management practices in order to redirect, capture, filter, and temporarily store large volumes of stormwater. Features that may be considered for this property include but are not limited to a connection to the existing drainage trunk line, a solar-powered pumping facility, a multi-use building to house ongoing educational programming, a wetland, a woodland, channels and bioswales, athletic fields, educational and recreational walks, and a greywater and blackwater purification system. Specific site features may include recreational and/or scientific/educational use. The project’s purpose is to improve the efficacy of the existing drainage infrastructure in Gentilly, to mitigate flooding of the neighborhood’s streets and properties to the greatest extent possible, and to substantially reduce the volume of, and increase the quality of stormwater entering Drainage Pump Station 4.”
The projects are two of eight total being authorized around the city. For more information, read about the Central City project in Uptown Messenger, or learn about the Bayou St. John project in Mid-City Messenger.