Fix the pumps

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Extra floodgates pumps contract announced

Updated 12/28/06

I found the announcement below on the Pentagon's contract issuance press release page. Based on a similar notice on the New Orleans District Awards webpage (under "Service & Supply," with an award date of 12/22/06), I have concluded this is the long-awaited contract for purchase of the extra pumps at the 17th St and London Ave floodgates. And it's a biggie: over $52 million for 19 pumps. Here's the original synopsis to the solicitation. The original contract for the 34 pumps supplied by MWI of Deerfield Beach, FL , which are the ones out at the floodgates now) was for about $26.6 million, or about $780,000 per pump/engine unit.

MR Pittman is the current prime contractor at the London Avenue floodgates. We do not know who is actually manufacturing the pumps.

Update, 12/28/06
According to this press release, the eight London Avenue pumps will be manufactured by Patterson Pumps for $15 million, or almost $2 million per pump/engine unit. Patterson has manufactured pumps used in Orleans and Jefferson Parish drainage stations. You can see a list of pumps and manufacturers in the Appendices to Volume VI of the June 1 IPET report. The appendices are here (it's about 43 megs). The list of Jefferson Parish pumps is on pages 303 and 304 of the document, while the list of Orleans Parish pumps is on pages 321 and 322.

The press release says the pumps will be rated for 135,000 gallons per minute, which is equivalent to 300 cubic feet per second (cfs). That's probably the maximum capacity. That is far bigger than the MWI pumps already installed there, which are rated for somewhere around 200 cfs, and perhaps less because of the need to run them slower to prevent vibration problems.

If we assume the rest of the MR Pittman contract is for the remaining 11 pumps for 17th Street (a big assumption), that works out to over $3.4 million per pump. I don't have a problem with the Corps finally throwing money at this problem. But it makes one wonder about the existing pumps.
end Update

Just a few weeks ago, on November 9th, the Corps issued a pre-solicitation notice for installation of the pumps at 17th St. It said that Boh Brothers would be doing the work at 17th St.

Also, keep in mind that the Corps has already announced that, despite the verbiage in the announcement, the pumps won't actually be ready to run until about August 1 at the earliest, so they're already two months behind schedule.

Anyway, here's the announcement:
M.R. Pittman Group L.L.C.*, Harahan, La., was awarded on Dec. 22, 2006, a $52,560,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Vertical Axial Flow Pump Systems for the 17th Street and London Avenue Canals. Work will be performed in New Orleans, La., and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. There were an unknown number of bids solicited via the World Wide Web on Nov. 5, 2006, and three bids were received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans, La., is the reporting contract office (W912P8-07-C-0025).


  • Matt,

    As I recall there was a major problem with vibration with the first set of pumps installed at the flood gates.

    Has that been fixed?

    Why should we expect the new pumps to do better?


    By Blogger franksplace2, at December 27, 2006 8:29 PM  

  • Another thing, are you sure these are additional pumps and not replacement pumps for the vibrating ones? Is it possible that the repairs were insufficient and/or the pumps vibrated beyond the point of no return?

    By Blogger Clay, at December 29, 2006 3:23 PM  

  • I am sure these pumps are not replacements for the MWI pumps. The question of whether vibrations are still a problem is still open.

    By Blogger mcbrid35, at December 29, 2006 9:15 PM  

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