The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advancing its $3.7-billion West Shore Lake Pontchartrain storm risk reduction project west of New Orleans. The Corps awarded two contracts to Louisiana firms for levee construction Aug. 23 and is seeking contractors for other pieces of the project, which the Corps plans to divide into about 19 segments.

Bids for another reach where Interstate 10 would cross the levee were due Aug. 23, and bids are due Sept. 5 for another section of levee and drainage structure near LaPlace, La. The Corps also released a presolicitation notice for work that would include construction of a floodwall section and a drainage structure at the Hope Canal near Garyville, La.  

The overall system of levees, floodwalls and pumps designed by the Corps will protect more than 60,000 people in a three-parish area between the east bank of the Mississippi River and the west shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The Corps is undertaking the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain project in conjunction with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and Pontchartrain Levee District in order to protect the area from a 100-year storm surge.  

The latest awards include a $38.9-million contract with Baton Rouge-based Dynamic Group, scheduled for completion in August 2027, and a $22.4-million contract with Lafayette-based EvCo Development LLC, scheduled to be completed in December 2025.

EvCo’s contract covers the fourth levee reach on the planned 17.5-mile long levee system, Colonel Cullen Jones, the New Orleans District commander, said in a statement. This reach is a 1.5-mile section of the levee system in St. John the Baptist Parish to an elevation of 8.6 ft. The Corps received five bids for the work, according to the U.S. Dept. of Defense contract award notice.

Dynamic Group is set to build the fifth reach, a 2.5-mile section of the levee, according to Jones. The reach, to an elevation of 11.5 ft, includes a section where lines cross the levee in St. John the Baptist Parish. The Corps received four bids for the work, according to the notice.  

Josh McCoy, CEO of Dynamic Group, said in a statement that the flood protection measures would increase the resilience of communities in the area. 

In July, the Corps released a new cost estimate for the project. The increased estimate accounts for higher material and labor costs, as well as additional planned work for periodic levee lifts.

Last December, the Corps awarded the first $9.3-million levee construction contract to Lafayette-based Meloine-Frazier LLC. In March, it awarded the second levee-reach $25.5-million contract to Mandeville, La.-based B&K Construction. It awarded the third $22.6-million levee reach contract in April to Onshore Materials LLC of Thibodaux, La.