How would local transportation be affected if a metropolitan area experienced 140 million miles of additional heavy traffic in a 28-month period due to an explosive construction boom or a major disaster? New Orleans is about to find out.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state and city officials may be writing a primer on how to manage that kind of scenario. “They certainly had traffic impact with the Big Dig and the cleanup after the destruction of the Twin Towers, but never has a whole city been so affected by a construction project,” says Gib Owen, the Corps’ New Orleans District chief of ecological planning and restoration. “This will impact everybody.”