The Seabrook Floodgate Complex is now open

Earlier this month the new Seabrook Floodgate Complex opened to water traffic, at the mouth of the Industrial Canal at Lake Pontchartrain, southeastern Louisiana.  Vessels can now pass through the new sector gates for the first time since construction began over 18 months ago. 

The first private vessel to pass through the 95-foot sector gates was the 50m motor yacht, Wheels, built by Trinity Yachts on France Road, a neighbour to the Seabrook Floodgate Complex. 

John Dane III, president of Trinity Yachts said, “We were delighted to see the Seabrook gates open for water traffic.  Not only have we regained our access to Lake Pontchartrain, but this mighty structure will help defend this area against future storms from the Lake, while the IHNC Surge Barrier wall and sector gates will defend from storms coming from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.” 

Mr. Dane further pointed out that the France Road shipyard, Trinity Yachts, will be within the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System for the first time in its 70-year history.

In addition to its 95-foot sector gates, the Seabrook Floodgate Complex includes two 50-foot wide vertical lift gates, which flank the sector gates.  Seabrook was designed to work in tandem with the IHNC Surge Barrier at Lake Borgne, located at the confluence of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO).

Both hurricane defence structures are ready to defend against the 100-year storm, even as work continues.  On June 22, the green light also went on at the Bayou Bienvenue Vertical Lift Gate along the IHNC Surge Barrier. This 56-foot wide gate was designed to allow recreational and fishing boats to pass through the surge barrier wall.

When completed this fall, the gate will lift to a height of 34 feet. Temporarily, however, the gate will rise only to a height clearance of 22 feet, allowing smaller vessels to pass through the surge barrier wall where Bayou Bienvenue crosses the wall.

The Bayou Bienvenue lift gate will remain in the open position at all times. It will only be closed in the event of a tropical storm.  The IHNC Surge Barrier at Lake Borgne is the largest design-build civil works project in the history of the Corps of Engineers. The concrete barrier wall stretches 1.8 miles from the GIWW to the MRGO.

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