Corps awards final contract for St. Bernard “risk reduction system”

Jun 21st, 2010 | By | Category: Top Story

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced June 16 that the agency has awarded the final contract for the St. Bernard Parish portion of the New Orleans area’s Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

The contract is to construct a new sector gate across the Caernarvon Canal in St. Bernard Parish, new floodgates across Highway 39 and the Norfolk Southern railroad just across the parish line Braithwaite and a new floodwall to tie into both the Verret-to-Caernarvon levee and the Mississippi River levee.

The Corps of Engineers reports the $49.6 million contract was awarded to New Jersey-based Conti Federal Services, Inc.

The project will complete the “Chalmette Loop Levee,” which forms a ring around the parish. The system is designed to help protect against storm surge from a so-called 100-year storm, or a storm that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

“This is one of the most significant milestones yet in St. Bernard Parish,” said Parish President Craig Taffaro. “This last contract award enables us to fully move to construction on the entire St. Bernard portion of the system. I want to thank our partners in the Corps of Engineers for all of their support in this rebuilding process.”

According to a Corps press release, construction on the project is expected to begin in July 2010 and should take about 10 months to complete. The official deadline set by Congress for completion of the New Orleans storm protection system is June 1, 2011.

“We have a tremendous task ahead of us in St. Bernard to construct three surge gates, four railroad or highway gates and 23 miles of floodwall in the next 12 months,” said Col. Robert Sinkler, commander of the Hurricane Protection Office. “We will be constructing two miles of concrete and steel floodwall per month to meet our operational goal of finishing all key features of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System by June 2011.”

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