Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps Project Wins Washington ACEC Award
The 17th Street Pump Station during excavation.

The Washington State Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recognized GeoEngineers, and project partners PND Engineers, with a Silver Award for work on the Permanent Canal Closure and Pumps Project (PCCP) in New Orleans, LA. This uniquely challenging project included the deepest excavation in New Orleans history, and will play a vital role in protecting the city from flooding during future storms.

“I’m thankful for the recognition,” said Principal Geotechnical Engineer King Chin. “Our team worked hard on the PCCP project and solved some pretty daunting challenges.”

The PCCP is an ongoing effort by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to protect the city by building three new canal closure and pumping station structures to protect the city from storm surges and move water out of the city.

The Pump Station had to be built in the water at the mouth of a canal, so the team needed a cofferdam that could withstand significant hydrostatic pressures from the surrounding water and soil. PND had an innovative cofferdam system design but it needed validation.

“The cofferdam at PCCP was a high risk, high visibility project element critical to early start of the work,” said Principal Mike Huggins of PND. “PND sought the help of King Chin and his team at GeoEngineers to perform the numerical modelling and supplementary geotechnical evaluation. GeoEngineers stayed the course through all the tough times that arise on such a project as this.”

GeoEngineers’ performance-based engineering team used advanced 3D finite element modeling to evaluate the shoring system’s performance for each of the canal structures to make sure that they would meet USACE requirements. Ultimately, they validated the design and construction went forward successfully.

“The potential soil-structure interactions were just too complex for a traditional force-based design method, so we had to use an approach that would more accurately model cofferdam movement and deformation,” King said.

Read more about this award-winning project here.