Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pipe Dreams

A local engineer has an idea, and a pump, to eliminate the use of outfall canals to divert water out of the city but the Corps of Engineers and S&WB are still sleepwalking.

The former outfall canals would be filled in and the land turned into parks, used to build housing or other uses.

With no canals to pump rainwater into, water would be channeled from city pump stations to the Mississippi River, or the Gulf of Mexico, through a network of underground pipes.

The upside: Storm surge would never again overwhelm the 17th Street, London Avenue and Orleans Avenue canals as happened during Hurricane Katrina.

That’s the dream of mechanical engineer Patrick Rousset.

Should Congress be convinced of the advantages of this system, the landscape of the city could be greatly enhanced. Instead of open canals that are subject to overflowing (re: Katrina) and act as barriers between one part of the city and another, the land above the drainage pipes could be converted to linear parks that can not only increase the amount of green space, but also reconnect neighborhoods to form a more cohesive city.

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