In New Orleans, in advance of Hurricane Isaac, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deployed its new Inner Harbor Navigation Canal-Lake Borgne Surge Barrier for the first time today. The largest civil works design-build project in Corps history was put in place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the city.
At the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway, the surge barrier is designed to hold back a 100-year storm surge. The huge barrier is 1.8 miles long and 26 feet high, and contains enough steel to build eight Eiffel Towers, and enough concrete to cover a football field 94 feet deep. The project involved the acquisition of 1,000 acres of privately owned land.
With its sections now closed, the barrier prevents navigation on the Intercoastal Waterway.
The $1.1 billion project was completed under budget by Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., which was awarded the contract in April 2008.
"For the city, a great sense of security is now in place," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in his midday news conference.
A 35-page pdf on the Corps' website provides detailed pictures of the project: http://www.usace-isc.org/presentation/Civil%20Engineering/ IHNC-Lake%20Borgne%20Barrier%20DeSoto-Duncan-Angela%20Revised.pdf
We can still do it right.