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Date 09/22/2014

Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier Relies on Lafarge Agilia® Self-Consolidating Concrete to Help Weather the Storm


World's largest hurricane damage risk-reduction system provides 100-year-level storm protection to Southeast Louisiana's most vulnerable areas.


Chicago, IL

Lafarge North America inc.


The $700 million Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System in New Orleans is one of the largest civil works projects in the history of the Army Corps of Engineers, and the largest surge barrier of its kind in the world. Designed to offer 100-year-level storm protection, it relies in part on Lafarge Agilia® concrete to help protect some of the nation's most vulnerable areas from devastating storm surges.


The massive project features 1,271 concrete vertical piles, each weighing 96 tons, and measuring 66 inches across and 144 feet long. They have been driven 130 feet deep and reinforced by 2,600 concrete closure piles and 660 36-inch diameter steel batter piles to form the 7,500-foot-long central portion of the two-mile-long wall. Parapet walls on top of a precast concrete horizontal cap on the floodwall bring the barrier's height to 26 feet.


To build this enormous structure, Lafarge barged in more than 70,000 cubic yards of Agilia® self-consolidating concrete. This innovative self-leveling concrete significantly reduces construction time and cost by eliminating the need for vibration due to its fluid and stable properties. The Agilia® concrete mix, which hardens to 4,000 psi within 48 hours, was placed in monolithic pours above and below the waterline and in cast-in-place piles. 


Hurricane Isaac presented the surge barrier with its first major test in August 2012, when it made landfall in southeast Louisiana as a category 1 storm with sustained winds of 80 mph. The new barriers successfully reduced the risk of damage to communities in Southeast Louisiana against storm surges from Lake Borgne and the Gulf of Mexico.


The American Society of Civil Engineers recently named the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier the 2014 award winner for outstanding civil engineering infrastructure project, recognizing both its significant contributions to the civil engineering profession and to society as a whole.It is testimony to Lafarge's strong commitment to contribute innovative solutions for building better cities.



Photo Credit: David Spielman/GPA



Dawn Stefano

Marketing Communications & Branding Manager, U.S.

Ph: 703-480-3667





Lafarge North America Inc. ("Lafarge") has close to 200 industrial and distribution sites and approximately 2,600 employees in 39states in its U.S. Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. Lafarge U.S. is an operating unit of Lafarge North America Inc. Lafarge is committed to contributing to Building Better Cities and being active in local environment, education and sustainable construction partnerships including the Wildlife Habitat Council, Habitat for Humanityand the National Building Museum. More information is available on the Lafarge North America website:

Lafarge S.A., together with its subsidiaries (the "Lafarge Group" or the "Group"), is the world leader in building materials and employs 64,000 people in 62 countries, and posted sales of €15.2 billion in 2013. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, the Group contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful and better connected. Lafarge North America Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Lafarge Canada Inc., are Lafarge Group companies, and together constitute the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.


With the world's leading building materials research facility, the Lafarge Group places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity. More information is available on the Lafarge Group's website:



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