(Photo courtesy of FEMA

Authorities finally began demolishing flood-ruined homes in New Orleans March 6 after resolving legal challenges and other issues that had blocked the work. The first contracts are in Orleans Parish and include 120 homes in the Lower 9th Ward and a few in the Lakeview section. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates 26,601 structures will need to come down in Orleans, generating 7.32 million cu yd of debris. The Corps also awarded the last of 59 contracts for repairs to the city’s storm protection structures on the same day—$6.3 million to B&K Construction, Mandeville, La., to build a tie-in wall between an existing levee and a new gated structure for closing the Orleans Canal in storm emergencies. A link to a Corps Website with details on all 59 contracts, including maps and photos, can be found at www.enr.com. Click on Hurricane Recovery Information.