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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

New Pumping Station Helps Protect 135,000 Residents from Flooding

Friday April 17, 2009

 Project includes $5 million in stimulus money, creates 150 jobs

The West Louisville Pumping Station, a 50-year-old system which protects 135,000 homes from flooding, will be rebuilt, thanks in part to federal economic stimulus dollars.

Gov. Steve Beshear has dedicated $5 million in state stimulus money for the project, which will be matched by $12 million from the Metropolitan Sewer District, the agency that will oversee the work.

The project will completely renovate the pumping station, at 1300 Southwestern Parkway in the Chickasaw neighborhood, by replacing seven large pumps, motors, drives and electrical switch gears. Expected to take 18 months, the project will create 150 jobs.

Beshear was joined in today’s announcement by Congressman John Yarmuth, Mayor Jerry Abramson and MSD director Bud Schardein.

“This project exemplifies what the stimulus effort is all about – improving infrastructure that protects lives and sustains communities, while also creating jobs in the midst of an extremely challenging economy,” Beshear said. “I’m excited that, working together with Mayor Abramson and Congressman Yarmuth, we were able to move quickly to help ensure that homes and families in Louisville’s West End are protected.”

Abramson said the federal government’s investment will ensure that families in West Louisville do not have to worry about the pumping station failing – and destroying homes and lives.

“This project is the highest ranking in terms of need in our flood protection system that safeguards Louisville,” Abramson said. “The current pumping station is outdated, overused and desperately needs to be replaced.”

“The city and Commonwealth are using these funds exactly as Congress and President Obama intended,” Yarmuth said. “This project will immediately put people to work in our community and improve the lives of working families in the long run.”

Schardein said the project will be bid in the coming weeks and construction should begin in 60 days. Construction companies and suppliers interested in bidding on the $17 million project should contact Project Manager Vicki Coombs, 502-540-6131

Pumping plants along the Ohio River go into service when the river approaches flood stage. At that point, all gravity pipes that normally flow into the river are plugged, to prevent river from flowing back into the city, Schardein said.

The pumping plants move rain water that falls on the city up and over the flood levee. If the plant failed to operate, the city would flood when the Ohio River was out of its banks.