Covering Louisiana

Mar 9, 2013 11:50 AM by katc

Corps to Temporarily Close Belle Chasse Tunnel

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) and Plaquemines Pari sh Government will temporarily close the Belle Chasse Tunnel beginning Monday, March 11 for one week. The closure is necessary to allow crews to begin the work that will prevent groundwater from leaking into the tunnel.

The tunnel will temporarily close March 11 through March 14 from 7:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. and a full tunnel closure will begin on Friday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. and re-open at 5:00 a.m. the following Monday. Additional work will be required to fully eliminate the seepage; however, tunnel closures should not be necessary.

The Belle Chasse Tunnel is part of Louisiana State Hwy 23 and typically allows two lanes of southbound traffic to pass beneath the Intracoastal Waterway in Plaquemines Parish. During the temporary weekend tunnel closure, a single lane of traffic in each direction (north and south) will be re-routed onto the Belle Chasse Bridge. The weekend re-routing will be similar to the LaDOTD's monthly maintenance closures of the tunnel. In accordance with LaDOTD guidance, signage near the tunnel will remind drivers of the re-routing.

The Belle Chasse Tunnel work is part of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, which reduces the risk associated with a storm surge event that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year, or a 100-year storm surge.

As construction of the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System continues, residents and commuters are urged to use caution near active construction sites. If at any time there are questions about construction of the system, call the Corps' toll free Construction Hotline at 877-427-0345.



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