Army Corps proposes $2B to improve levees in south Louisiana

Local News

A seagull lands on the the 17th Street levee near a breach repaired with metal reinforcements (behind the birds) on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2006, in New Orleans. Louisiana lawmakers have overhauled the state’s arcane, patronage-laden system of managing its levee system, in hopes that Congress will agree to spend billions to toughen the flood-control system and prevent another catastrophe like Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal agency is proposing $2 billion in improvements to the levee system that protects against hurricane flooding along portions of seven parishes in south Louisiana.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans virtual public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday on its planned revisions to the 30-mile Upper Barataria levee system that includes the west banks of Jefferson, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes.

Officials say the improvements would provide storm surge protection in the event of a so-called 100-year storm event, giving roughly 360,000 additional coastal residents the same reduced level of storm surge damage as residents of New Orleans.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports the plan calls for building new levees and elevating existing ones to between 12.5 and 14 feet (3.8 and 4.3 meters). Construction would be scheduled to start in 2023, with completion expected by the end of 2026.

The state and federal governments would have to reach an agreement to share the cost of the project.

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