Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New Orleans levees could face another rebuild

News

CONTRACTORS MIGHT have to rebuild New Orleans' hurricane damaged levees twice, a member of the US government's levee failure research team said this week.

Investigations by the US government's Interagency Performance Evaluation Taskforce (IPET) could show that engineers are working to flawed designs, said team member and UK geotechnical engineer Scott Steedman.

He leads the IPET research team, which is using physical modelling to understand what caused the levees to breach during and after Hurricane Katrina last August (NCE 15 September 2005).

IPET was set up by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld in October 2005. It comprises 10 teams of scientists and engineers tasked with examining different factors influencing the levee failures.

Around £227M of contracts have already been awarded to firms rebuilding levees and floodwalls. Work started in the weeks immediately following Katrina.

US Army Corps engineers and contractors have been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to get New Orleans flood defences restored to a pre-Katrina level before the start of this year's hurricane season on 1 June.

But Steedman said this work might have to be redone.

'What happens if the IPET team comes up with some piece of evidence which means that the work they [the US Army Corps of Engineers] have done in the last six months is redundant?' said Steedman.

'The answer is they will bite the bullet and they will redo it. If it comes to it they will immediately carry out additional works or replace what they have already done.' John McKenna

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.