The USACE's mission with the $14-billion LPV 3.2b West Return Floodwall project was to construct the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System as the region recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The project, located on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish, consists of a 3-mile-long concrete T-wall on the Jefferson Parish lakefront. It follows the boundary between St. Charles Parish and Jefferson Parish from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Lake Pontchartrain. Work included raising levees, replacing floodgates and floodwalls and building improvements at four lakefront pump stations to fortify a flood protection system that has evolved over hundreds of years.
Construction teams maintained continuous flood protection while designing the new system as hurricane season approached. Storms from the Gulf of Mexico often shut off site access on short notice. Judges lauded the "unique set of challenges, from time-zone differences to language to local building approaches," as well as a deft handling of uncertain financing for the on-time, on-budget project.
Location New Orleans
Owner U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Harahan, La.
Lead Design Firm U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
General Contractor Odebrecht Johnson Bros, Joint Venture, New Orleans
Structural-MEP-Civil-Engineer U.S. Army Corps of Engineers