Corps of Engineers awards IHNC Surge Protection contract

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority have announced the award of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Reduction Project contract. The Corps awarded the $695 million contract to Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. of New Orleans. Construction of the project is federally-funded. After construction, the state will be fully responsible for operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, replacement and repair of the project...

• Largest civil works design-build contract in Corps history

NEW ORLEANS, LA, April 3, 2008 -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced the award of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Reduction Project contract. The Corps of Engineers awarded the contract to Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. of New Orleans, La., for an amount of $695,489,766.00.

"We are delighted to reach this historic milestone today," said Karen Durham-Aguilera, Director of Task Force Hope. "The IHNC surge reduction work will reduce risk and provide increased safety for the people of Greater New Orleans."

The structure(s) is expected to be located at the confluence of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, generally between Paris Road and the shore of Lake Borgne from New Orleans East to St. Bernard Parish.

"The plan to close the MRGO last month was a significant step and now we are protecting New Orleans and St. Bernard with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal hurricane protection," said Garret Graves, Governor's Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities, and Chairman, CPRA. "This is another huge stride toward reducing the vulnerabilities and improving the hurricane protection system for the greater New Orleans area."

The Corps and the CPRA recently negotiated and signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA), which is required by law. The signed PPA allowed the Corps to proceed with awarding the design-build contract.

Construction of this project is 100% federally-funded. After construction is complete, the State of Louisiana will be fully responsible for operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, replacement and repair of the project.

As with all major construction projects, the Corps will engage external peer review to ensure that this project is providing the best product possible for the citizens of Greater New Orleans.

The design-build contract also includes an "advance measures" requirement, a construction feature that will reduce the current risk in Metro New Orleans, New Orleans East, the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish.

"This advance measure was born out of a partnering meeting held in early 2007, and will finish well ahead of the permanent measures scheduled to be completed in 2011," said Timothy P. Doody, President, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East. "Many people played a part in the decision to begin what will be the eastbank's eastern-most defense, until permanent measures are in place. Regional hurricane storm surge protection got one step closer today."

Over the next four months, the Corps will be completing its environmental compliance requirements which will include several public meetings. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the public will have the opportunity to continue providing input on the ultimate location and the full design of the project. After the Corps completes the NEPA process, construction will begin.

"This project is the largest element in the overall 100-year level of protection for the greater New Orleans area," said Col. Jeffrey Bedey, Commander of the Corps' Hurricane Protection Office. "We welcome the firm of Shaw as our newest teammate. Shaw brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team."

The Shaw team consists of these firms: INCA/Gerwick of Metairie, La.; Linfield Hunter & Junius of Metairie, La.; Eustis Engineering of Metairie, La.; Boh Bros. of New Orleans, La.; Cajun Constructors of Baton Rouge, La.; M.R. Pittman of Harahan, La.; and J. Ray McDermott of New Orleans, La.

The completed Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System will consist of a combination of floodwalls, levees, gates, pump stations and closure structures. The Corps estimates the total cost at approximately $14.6 billion.

For more information about the CPRA and Louisiana's ongoing coastal protection and wetland restoration efforts, visit: http://www.lacpra.org

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