The Flood Wall
The Morgan City Floodwall was designed by the Corps of Engineers to provide increased protection for our City. The Floodwall (Phase I) section along Front Street from the Southern Pacific Railroad bridge to Brashear Avenue is 18 feet high and offers protection to an elevation of +23 feet above mean sea level. Construction began on May 3, 1983 and was completed on August 16, 1985 by Hobbs Construction and Development of Panama City, Florida. Cost of construction was $4.1 million.
Protecting the South Side of Morgan City is the "Tiger Island Floodwall" extending along Young's Road from near the Bayou Beouf Lock to the Southern Pacific Railroad bridge for a distance of over 2 miles (11,250 feet.) The floodwall is 17 feet high and provides protection to elevation +22 feet msl. Work began October 30, 1981, and was completed New Year's Eve - December 31, 1984- by Shappert Engineering Company of Belvidere, Illinois. The final contract amount was $11.6 million.
The Morgan City Floodwall (Phase II) ties into the Morgan City Floodwall (Phase I) at Brashear Avenue. The floodwall extends for a distance of almost 1 mile (5,000 feet) from Brashear Avenue to Levee Road. It is 16 feet high and provides protection to elevation +24 msl. Work began October 18, 1983 under a $10.5 milion contract awarded to SCE, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama, and was completed in March 1987.
The four floodwalls in the Morgan City area were constructed of steel sheet pilings driven to an average depth of -70 feet. The above ground portions were capped with concrete. Gates in the floodwalls will normally remain open to accomodate vehicular and pedestrian traffic, but will be closed when floods threaten the area. The Morgan City and Berwick floodwalls are designed with a special finish to enhance their visual appeal. They are designed to have a "fractured fin" finish, cast into the walls to appear corrugated, and are decorated with motifs such as boats, ducks, gulls, and cypress trees to reflect the surrounding area.
Before construction of the new Morgan City area floodwalls, protection was provided by a floodwall constructed in the mid-1940's, which provided protection to an elevation of about +13 feet msl. Therefore, the new floodwalls increased protection by about 10 feet.
The four floodwalls in the Morgan City - Berwick area were a part of the comprehensive Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) project, the massive Federal Flood Control Project authorized in 1928 to protect the entire Mississippi River Valley from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.
Floodwaters entering Louisiana from the Mississippi River and its tributaries are designed under the project to reach the Gulf of Mexico either in the Mississippi River channel or by way of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway. The MR&T project was designed to provide safe passage of a flood consisting of 3 million cubic feet per second (cfs) of flows. Half of these flows (1.5 million cfs) would reach the Gulf by way of the Mississippi River and its associated spillway, the Bonnet Carre Spillway above New Orleans. The other haf (1.5 million cfs) of the flows would pass to the Gulf by way of the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway.
The Atchafalaya Basin Floodway is lined on both sides by 449 miles of levees and floodwalls to contain flows, including the four floodwalls in the Morgan City area.
Visit our floodwall monument next to the flood wall gate at Freret Street and Front Street.There you can see the water level markers from 4 of our major floods and photo plaques from all 5 since 1912.