Connecting East & West Under The Mississippi

Dual River Crossings Connect Separate Water Systems For St. Charles Parish
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | May 2009 Vol. 64 No. 5

Simon said no under river crossing of the Mississippi is simple, and despite the complexity of the two St. Charles crossings and the various complications encountered, each was completed ahead of schedule because of the hard work and cooperation of numerous individuals and organizations, including Barry Nailing, Ranger supervisor; Waterworks Director Robert Brou and Waterworks personnel; David Einsel, P.E., of Shread Kuyrkendall; Jay Roberts of Water & Sewer Products, Bridge City, LA; and John Delong, Jim Ryan and Tom Lytle, Vermeer Equipment of Texas.

Ranger Field Services specializes in underground installations of pipe and conduits beneath waterways, highways, congested areas and environmentally sensitive environments.

Brou said the under river water lines provide many benefits to St. Charles Parish and its population.

"The more we look at the projects, the more benefits we see," said Brou. "They provide increased capacity on both sides of the river with the ability to direct water flow in either direction. If we have a power failure or problem with a plant on one side of the river, we can draw water from the other, and we can also shut down a plant for maintenance and not interrupt water service."

The Mississippi River is the water supply for St. Charles Parish, and oil spills in the past have caused problems.

"Intakes for the East and West Banks are about five miles apart," Brou said, "and there have been instances where spills have affected water supplies on one side, but not the other. Being able to move water under the river will make it much easier in the event such incidents occur in the future. And as soon as the second crossing is on line, the C Plant on the East Bank can be taken off line to make much needed repairs.

"With both lines operational and everything running smoothly, communities on both sides and either end of the parish will have better water flow, better pressure and as a result, better fire protection," Brou concluded.


Ranger Field Services,(337) 837-5447,
Shread Kuyrkendall & Associates, (225) 296-1335,
Vermeer Equipment of TX, (800) 777 5128,
Vermeer Corp., (888) 837-6337,

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