Fairbanks Morse Defense has received a $31 million contract from the Memphis District Army Corps of Engineers to refurbish the 10 opposed piston 38D 8 1/8 engines powering the water pumps at the W.G. Huxtable Pumping Station. Located near Marianna, Ark., the W.G. Huxtable Pumping Station was constructed in 1977 with 10 water pumps powered by 10 Fairbanks Morse Defense engines, and it remains one of the largest stormwater pumping stations in the world.
“Fairbanks Morse opposed piston engines have a well-earned reputation for being built to last,” said FMD CEO George Whittier. “These engines have reliably served the region for nearly 50 years, and through this project, they will continue to ensure the security and functionality of this floodplain for another 50 years and beyond.”
The pumping station serves a watershed that is more than 2,000 square miles, totaling the size of the state of Delaware. It plays a critical role in the Mississippi River and Tributaries project flood management system by protecting the lower St. Francis River Basin from damaging floodwater that would otherwise threaten the safety and livelihood of those living and working within the watershed. The station’s 10 industrial units are capable of pumping about 1,200 cubic feet per second to remove excess surface water swept up by the Mississippi River and St. Francis River Basin levees. Collectively, they are capable of pumping 5.4 million gallons of water per minute.
The effort to refurbish the pumping station engines is supported by funding received by the Memphis District from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This law provides $550 billion in federal funding through 2026 for a range of federal infrastructure projects.
The project is being conducted through a partnership between the Memphis District and the St. Francis Levee District of Arkansas.