St. Mary Parish, Gordy, LA
The first levee armoring project designed by the New Orleans District of the Corp of Engineers (COE) post Hurricane Katrina utilized ArmorMax®, an Anchored Reinforced Vegetation System. It was installed in December 2006 on the land side of the levee to prevent erosion from overtopping. ArmorMax® is a combination of a high performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) and earth percussion anchors. It is designed to protect levees from the destructive forces of hurricane storm surge and wave overtopping. ArmorMax® was selected over traditional armoring methods, such as rock riprap and reno mattresses. This lightweight solution does not surcharge the levees; therefore, it minimizes consolidation and settlement. Maintaining the levee height is crucial to the protection of the Gordy Pump Station. During a storm, the pump station is used to pump water from the low lying land side of the levee back into the Gulf of Mexico.
The ArmorMax® System installed for less than half the cost of the 9″ reno mattresses selected for use in another area of the project. On the land side of the levee, the levee district required the COE design with an armoring material that could withstand heavy tractor mowers. The combination of the HPTRM’s 4000 #/ft of tensile strength, earth percussion anchors, and 50 year design life allow this product to be regularly maintained by heavy equipment while continuing to provide protection against future hurricane storm surge and wave overtopping.
In September 2008, the ArmorMax® system at the Gordy Pump Station withstood a direct impact from Hurricane Gustav, a strong category 2 hurricane that delivered high winds and heavy rainfall. ArmorMax® held the vegetation in place with no erosion or soil loss.