NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City officials broke ground on the new NOFD Engine 31 Alba Road Fire Station at 4300 Alba Road in Venetian Isles. This $3.6 million, over 7,800 square foot facility will provide enhanced fire protection to the Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine communities. This new fire station will replace the previous 5,900 square foot fire station that was built in 1975 and flooded during Hurricane Katrina. Construction will be complete this fall.
“As one of my administration’s committed projects, the new NOFD Engine 31 Alba Road Fire Station is another important step forward in our committed effort to make our city safe and to provide better working conditions for our first responders,” Mayor Landrieu said. “This station will provide our firefighters with the resources they need to better protect the residents of Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine. During Hurricane Isaac, the City’s first responders were critical to saving lives and coordinating Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine’s response and recovery.”
The new fire station will be a two company, two bay facility housing two fire trucks and five firefighters per shift with a maximum occupancy of 10 firefighters. This facility is designed to respond to its location outside of the levee protection system which is a high hazard flood zone. In order to be operational immediately after a storm or high water event, the facility’s living spaces will be located on the second floor above flood elevation. Electrical service will be encased in concrete to mitigate flooding at the first floor and controlled at the second floor. Separate panels are designed for each level for easy shut off in the event of a major storm. In the event of a high storm surge, a breakaway wall system is being installed on the first floor to allow water to flow through the facility without damaging the structural integrity of the facility. A 60kW generator will be elevated to run essential electrical operations for 3 days with direct connection to an elevated onsite fuel tank. There will also be an open stairway to provide firefighters boat access to the second floor if flood waters are present immediately after a storm.
New Orleans Fire Superintendent Charles Parent said, “I am pleased that Engine 31’s House is being constructed. I am sure this sentiment is echoed by the citizens of New Orleans East and the members of NOFD. This will ensure that our members are housed in a safe and secure structure which will enable them to continue to serve and protect their neighbors’ in New Orleans East under any conditions.”
District E City Councilmember James A. Gray II said, “Every community deserves to feel safe and our firefighters should have a work environment that allows them to optimally respond to any challenge while on the job. The groundbreaking for this new Engine 31 Alba Road fire station offers Lake Catherine and Venetian Isles residents the promise that the city will be there for them in emergencies, and gives our firefighters a home built for the future, a state-of-the-art place to work and live."
City Councilmember-at-Large Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, "This is a tremendous accomplishment for our city to provide a new, state-of-the-art fire station in Venetian Isles, which is so critically important to such a remote community."
FEMA Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan said, “Congratulations to both the city and the New Orleans Fire Department on your recovery progress. The new NOFD Engine 31 Fire Station will greatly benefit the city’s firefighters and the larger community in which they protect. As the city moves closer to full recovery, FEMA remains steadfast in aiding local recovery endeavors through the coordination of federal taxpayers’ dollars.”
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “This new state-of-the-art fire station will not only provide the residents of Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine enhanced fire protection but it will also serve as an important community gathering place.”
Funding for this project comes from FEMA recovery dollars, insurance, and City bond funds. The new NOFD Engine 31 Alba Road Fire Station was designed by Trapolin-Peer Architects of New Orleans and will be constructed by Devier Design Build of Mandeville.
Click here for a rendering of NOFD Engine 31 Alba Road Fire Station.