Fast facts: The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) — In response to a trio of deadly and costly hurricanes in Southern New England, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction on The New Bedford Hurricane Protection Barrier.

Drew Cattano, a barrier engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers told ABC 6 News: “It was constructed between 1962 and 1966 for 18.5 million dollars.”

That’s $181.4 million dollars by today’s standards.

The barrier is designed in three sections, and is maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, the city of New Bedford and the town of Fairhaven. It can also put water back into the ocean side of the gate to achieve balance in the water levels. There is a system set up to make sure the water levels stay safe.

Cattano explains the barrier that the “ties into the extension dyke maintained by the city of New Bedford and Clark’s Cove Dyke and one pumping station to relieve interior drainage inside the city.”

The barrier is designed for easy activation and maintenance. Every part of the facility has a purpose. So, how would you get from one end of the gate to the other in a hurricane? Why the tunnel, of course! 149 steps down to the tunnel runs 67 feet under the barrier to the control center on the Fairhaven side. You can see something few people have in the video above!

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