USACE, MWH help put New Orleans area utilities, local contractors back to work

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and engineering consultant MWH are working together to put local contractors and workers back to work in order to manage and monitor quality control for storm drain debris removal in the New Orleans metro area...

NEW ORLEANS, LA, Oct. 25, 2005 -- As part of their efforts to ensure New Orleans area utilities infrastructure gets up and running in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and MWH Global Inc. are putting local contractors and workers back to work.

USACE and MWH are working together to manage and monitor quality control for storm drain debris removal efforts in the New Orleans metro area. This has included urgent post-Katrina work in the west bank parishes and an intensive effort to clean storm drain catch basins ensuring the capability to transport Hurricane Rita's anticipated heavy rains.

To complete the USACE contractual work, MWH has subcontracted with several New Orleans area contractors, and to date has put nearly 70 local workers back to work in the process.

When Katrina struck, MWH was mid-way through a 10-year, $650 million contract with the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. Under that contract, MWH served as program manager for the Sewer System Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program (SSERP), which assessed and repaired the City's aging sewer system -- work for which MWH engaged the services of approximately 35 local consulting firms. Since that contract was suspended to focus on post-hurricane recovery efforts, MWH has continued to turn to those same local contractors first for assistance in performing work under its USACE and other contracts to bring New Orleans metro area utilities infrastructure systems back online.

"MWH is pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Corps in its post-hurricane clean-up and recovery efforts in New Orleans," said Ray Hartley, regional manager for MWH. "During our work as program manager under the City's SSERP contract, MWH identified and worked with many highly qualified small, medium and large local contractors who know how to get the job done on time. Now, when clean-up and recovery requires timely, top-notch efforts from everyone involved, we're doing everything we can to put those same contractors and their employees back to work in getting the New Orleans area utilities infrastructure systems up and running again."

Under other separate contracts, MWH is employing local contractors and a pool of about 200 more local workers. The company anticipates being able to put additional local firms and workers back to work pending the results of further contract negotiations.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides disaster assistance to the nation, working in concert with 30 federal departments and state and local governments, to bring relief following disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. For more information on the Army Corps of Engineers' response to Hurricane Katrina, please visit the website at www.usace.army.mil.

MWH (www.mwhglobal.com), with offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is a Broomfield, Colo.-based global environmental engineering firm that has provided consulting services for the New Orleans metro area since 1979. The private, employee-owned environmental engineering design, consulting and construction firm has about 6,000 employees worldwide. The company provides water, wastewater, energy, natural resource and program management services to industrial, municipal and government clients in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, India, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

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