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Paddy's Run Pump Station Groundbreaking

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August 15, 2023


LOUISVILLE, KY – An approximately $230 million project to replace MSD’s Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station is underway. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, United States Army Corps of Engineers Col. L. Reyn Mann, U.S. Congressman Morgan McGarvey, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg, and State Director for U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Robbin Taylor, today joined MSD officials to formally begin the project that will replace an outdated flood pump station with a new state-of-the-art facility—providing increased pumping capacity to reduce flood risk for 63,000 residents, improving resilience and delivering a measure of environmental justice to the neighborhoods of West Louisville and beyond. 

Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station (FPS), built in 1953, is part of a system that protects 216,000 people, 87,000 structures, and $33 billion in property. During Ohio River flooding, flood pump stations keep rising Ohio River water out of the city while pumping interior waterways like Paddy’s Run into the river. The 70-year-old Paddy’s Run facility currently runs on original parts that are no longer available for replacement, which requires around-the-clock maintenance. 

The replacement project will more than double the existing Paddy’s Run FPS pumping capacity from the current 875 million gallon per day to 1.9 billion gallons per day. With all pumps engaged, the new Paddy’s Run FPS could drain the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool in approximately 29 seconds. The modern pump station will feature a total of eight pumps, along with modern electrical and instrumentation controls.

“Paddy’s Run has been doing a 21st century job with 1950s technology, staying in operation due to nearly constant maintenance by our dedicated employees,” said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott.  “With the increased frequency of severe weather events, it’s imperative that the facility is able to effectively and efficiently handle the environmental demands of our times.

MSD successfully pursued a $13.24 million Cleaner Water Grant under the American Rescue Plan Act to assist in funding this crucial project. Additionally, congress approved $1 million in federal funds allowing USACE to begin design work on urgently needed upgrades to electrical equipment dating to the 1950s for our Flood Protection System. 

Also, MSD will receive $28.89 million in funding from the State Revolving Fund, with $1.6 million in forgivable loans. “Every Kentuckian deserves the best modern infrastructure to keep them safe and healthy, and this project will better protect the lives and homes of more than 60,000 Kentuckians,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “We are working hard to make sure West Louisville and all of Kentucky have access to clean, safe water through projects like this, our Clean Water Program and more.”

“The upgrade of Paddy’s Run Pump Station is a monumental first step in the repair, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of features within Louisville’s flood protection system and is a testament to MSD’s commitment to this project. We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with MSD as we take a collective step toward ensuring the future of the Louisville Metro Flood Protection System.”

—Col. L. Reyn Mann, Commander USACE Louisville District

“Replacing Paddy’s Run’s outdated infrastructure has been a long time coming,”said Rep. Morgan McGarvey. “I’m proud to support this project to improve climate and environmental resiliency for communities across my district, especially historically underserved neighborhoods in West Louisville. These updates will ensure Paddy’s Run can continue to effectively serve Louisvillians for decades to come.”

—Morgan McGarvey, U.S. Representative, Kentucky Third Congressional District

The replacement of the existing Paddy’s Run FPS also aligns with the federal government’s Justice40 priorities, ensuring that at least 40 percent of federal climate investments go directly to frontline communities most affected by poverty and pollution. 

“The completion of this new, modern facility will also deliver a measure of environmental justice to the predominantly Black neighborhoods of West Louisville, delivering on one of MSD’s core values of equity and justice,” Parrott added.

“The Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station replacement project is more than infrastructure—it's a testament to our commitment to safeguarding our city. With hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses depending on the pump station, this initiative reflects our pledge to a safe and healthy community. Thank you to MSD for taking preventative action to better our residents and our city.”

—Craig Greenberg, Louisville Metro Mayor

The projected substantial completion date on Paddy’s Run is December 2026. 

Paddy’s Run by the numbers

Existing Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station

  • Opened in 1953

  • MSD responsible for Jefferson County flood protection since 1987

  • Capacity of 875 million gallons per day

  • Total of six pumps, four large and two small

New Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station

  • Capacity of 1.9 billion gallons per day

  • The ability to drain an Olympic-sized pool in approximately 29 seconds

  • Eight pumps, 6 large and two small 

  • All new pumps and motors made in America

  • $20 million invested in pumps, motors and installation

  • Modern electrical and instrumentation controls

Equity and Job Creation

The Paddy’s Run project will benefit the community through MSD’s Community Benefits Program. When MSD pursues large capital projects, it invites its engineering and construction partners to use their resources to impact the neighborhood positively. MSD’s Community Benefits Program encourages contractors on construction projects over $2 million or professional service contracts over $200,000 to voluntarily submit community initiatives they will pursue if awarded the project. MSD contractors have invested more than $3 million back into the communities where projects have occurred.

The Paddy’s Run Flood Pump Station Project will create approximately 400 construction jobs with Ulliman Schutte Construction—the progressive design-build project lead—has a construction commitment of 76 percent for Local Labor hiring for job classifications including: 

  • Asphalt workers

  • Carpenters

  • Cleaners

  • Cement finishers

  • Electricians

  • Foundations workers

  • Labor

  • Operators

  • Masons

  • Mechanical workers

  • Millwrights

  • Plumbers

  • Pipe fitters

  • Precast workers

  • Roadway workers

  • Roofers

  • Utility workers

Additionally, the project will employ approximately 100 jobs through professional services, inspections, management and supervision. 

MSD also requires contractors to meet specific targets for minority representation among subcontractors.

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