By this time next year, CBY Design Builders anticipates employing an estimated 350 workers on the $675- million, 44-month contract to construct permanent canal closures and pump stations at New Orleans' three outfall canals for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The USACE Hurricane Protection Office in New Orleans announced the award of the design-build, firm-fixed-price contract on April 13. CBY—a joint venture of CDM, Cambridge, Mass., Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham, Ala., and Yates Construction, Philadelphia, Miss.—beat out six other contracting teams to win. The competition included various pairings of well-known engineering companies: Weston, Archer Western, Kiewit, Arcadis, HNTB, Bechtel, Odebrecht and Volkert, among others.

A Corps spokesperson declined to reveal the number of bidders but indicated that between three and five offers were short-listed.

The Corps won't discuss details of the selection process or the contract until early May, when the debriefing and protest periods have lapsed.

CBY's contract includes simultaneous design and construction of permanent pump stations and closures to replace the temporary ones built after Hurricane Katrina at the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals, the city's three stormwater evacuation outfall canals that empty into Lake Pontchartrain.

The Corps specified the maximum footprint, height and pump capacity of the three structures—12,500 cu ft per second at 17th, 2,700 cfs at Orleans and 9,000 cfs at London—but left all other details up to the design-build contractor.

CBY project manager Robert Davis says he thinks the joint venture won the best-value contract because of the team's expertise as well as its sensitivity to local stakeholders' long-term operations and maintenance commitments. “We want to make these projects as easy as possible for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans to operate and maintain,” says Davis. “The S&WB doesn't have enough money. … We have to find ways to be as efficient as possible.”