Floodwall to Protect Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters

Temporary barriers were added at the New Orleans facility last year ahead of storm surge that crested at 16 feet.

An SUV travels down Breakwater Drive in New Orleans, La., July 12, 2019.
An SUV travels down Breakwater Drive in New Orleans, La., July 12, 2019.
AP Photo/Matthew Hinton

NEW ORLEANS (AP) β€” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has an $8.9 million contract for floodwalls to protect its New Orleans District headquarters.

Construction is expected to begin in late September on a combination of permanent and deployable floodwalls under the contract signed Aug. 12. APC Construction, LLC of Algiers is expected to complete the work by March 2022, according to a Corps news release Monday.

Giant sandbags and the sand-filled, fabric-lined wire-mesh containers called HESCO baskets were set up to protect the complex from Hurricane Barry in 2019 when the storm was forecast to push storm surge up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) at the river gauge by the Corps office. As it turned out, the crest was about 16 feet (4.9 meters) feet at the Carrollton gauge.

The protective measures are set up when the forecast is for at least 18.5 feet (5.6 meters) of water at that spot, Corps spokesman Rene Poche said in an email.

β€œWe kept part of last year’s HESCO closure in place and ensured the necessary super sack sandbags were ready to be deployed this year because (Tropical Storm) Cristobal occurred during a high river,” but the river forecast never got high enough to require it, he said.

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