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ASCE - the questions


The American Society of Civil Engineers had given prior warning about the condition of the levees in New Orleans and is now questioning whether a rebuild should take place in the present location (NCE 22 September).

We are planning a possibly vulnerable development in the Thames Gateway that includes old marsh areas and the proposed Olympic site, which could be at longer term risk.

Engineers can help, but we can only fight nature up to a certain point, balancing cost against benefit.

Taking proper long term account of the situation in this area along with its infrastructure service problems, should our Institution, with the inherent strength of its relevant membership, be sounding a clear warning to our government, perhaps particularly to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

It is essential that a longer term view is taken of the situation, particularly in view of plans to start spending huge amounts of money that 'might go down the drain' in the reasonably foreseeable future.

John Richardson (F), j.

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