Improved Planning Needed by Corps of Engineers To Resolve Environmental, Technical and Financial Issues on the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project

MASAD-82-39: Published: Aug 17, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the status of the Army Corps of Engineers' Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project which is intended to provide hurricane protection to the Greater New Orleans metropolitan area. Because of environmental and other issues, the Project, which was to be completed in 1978, is only half finished.

GAO found that the Corps is considering changing its original plan of barrier structures and some low levees to one requiring much higher levees with no barriers, an alternative which is less costly and less detrimental to the environment. However, besides engineering and environmental concerns, there are also other unresolved problems on the project. Because no project plan has been formally adopted, cost estimates are inaccurate and, due to limited funds, current financing has not been ensured by the local sponsors. In addition, costly work at the drainage canals has not been reported to Congress.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Plesae call 202/512-6100 for additional details.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, to resolve environmental and technical issues, should require the Chief of Engineers to develop an acquisition strategy plan, and after approval, work closely with local sponsors to acquire the necessary rights-of-way, easements, and construction priorities for the remaining portions of the Project.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Plesae call 202/512-6100 for additional details.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, to resolve environmental and technical issues, should require the Chief of Engineers to develop a technical approach to construction at the drainage canals which can be implemented and which has concurrence from local sponsors.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Plesae call 202/512-6100 for additional details.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, to resolve environmental and technical issues, should require the Chief of Engineers to develop specific milestones for completion of the remaining portions of the Project.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Plesae call 202/512-6100 for additional details.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army, to ensure adequate financing by local sponsors of their share of project funding, should require the Chief of Engineers to estimate the cost to local sponsors if the high-level plan is adopted or if the barrier plan is retained and to obtain local sponsors' concurrences on financial shares to be borne by them.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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