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Katrina jacks up Gulf Coast building costs

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CONSTRUCTION INFLATION on the US Gulf Coast is running at a massive 100%, the boss of the region's largest infrastructure project has claimed.

Arthur D'Andrea, Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development project manager for the new bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, said that the cost of building had rocketed.

'There's a shortage of labour and a high demand for materials, ' D'Andrea told NCEI.

Both the neighbouring states of Louisiana and Mississippi are undertaking enormous reconstruction programmes to replace damaged infrastructure.

Pressure on resources has seen project costs explode, said D'Andrea.

Mississippi State Government awarded a $350M design and build contract for a 3.9km bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

The similar Rigolets Pass Bridge in Louisiana that began before the hurricane hit in November 2004, was awarded at a predicted cost of $51M.

The Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge is being delivered in just two years. Rigolets Pass will take four, but D'Andrea said it would cost a minimum of $134M if awarded today.

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