Since 2005, federal government has invested $14.6 billion to improve perimeter protections around New Orleans to reduce the risk from hurricane storm surge. Many of the new or improved elements of the 350-mile-long system include features designed to reduce the cost of operation and maintenance.
“The Corps went to great lengths to reduce O&M costs for the local sponsor,” says Colonel Robert Sinkler, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hurricane and Protection Office in New Orleans, manager of design and construction. “One great example is the neoprene sleeves on the batter piles on the back side of the [Lake Borgne-Inner Harbor Navigation Canal] surge barrier,” he says. “Another is the use of T-wall construction in St. Bernard, which requires less long-term maintenance than earthen levees.”