US Army Corps of Engineers
New Orleans District

West Bank and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report

Study Authority

The USACE is preparing the West Bank and Vicinity General Re-evaluation Report under the authority of Section 3017 of WRRDA 2014. Public Law 115-123 (Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018) funded the study as a new start. The study phase is 100% Federally funded.

Study Purpose

The devastation to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita included the loss of over 1,800 lives, it temporarily and permanently displaced many thousands of residents, and resulted in estimated property damages in excess of $40 billion in New Orleans and as much as $100 billion along the Gulf Coast.

After the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season, the U.S. embarked on one of the largest civil works projects ever undertaken, at an estimated cost of $14 billion. The project included restoration, accelerated construction, improvements, and enhancements of various risk reduction projects within southeastern Louisiana, including the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Project (LPV) and the West Bank and Vicinity, Louisiana Project (WBV), jointly referred to as the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS).  The completion of the levees, floodwalls, gates, and pumps that together form the HSDRRS brought 100-year level of hurricane and storm damage risk reduction to the areas within LPV and WBV.

Southeast Louisiana, including the Greater New Orleans area, is generally characterized by weak soils, general subsidence, and the global incidence of sea level rise that will cause levees to require future lifts to sustain performance of the HSDRRS. The HSDRRS project authority did not provide for future lifts.  Engineering analysis indicates the HSDRRS will no longer provide 1% level of risk reduction as early as 2023.  Absent future levee lifts to offset consolidation, settlement, subsidence, and sea level rise, risk to life and property in the Greater New Orleans area will progressively increase.  USACE will notify FEMA once the system no longer provides the 1% level of risk reduction, which may result in the loss of accreditation required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The study seeks to determine if the work necessary to sustain the 1% level of risk reduction is technically feasible, environmentally acceptable, and economically justified.  The study will also consider other levels of risk reduction.  A positive determination would make construction of future levee lifts eligible for future budget requests.

Study Area

Study Objectives

  • Reduce risk of life loss due to coastal storm damage over the period of analysis
  • Reduce economic damages due to coastal storm damage over the period of analysis
  • Reduce the costs associated with coastal storm damage to the environment and human health

Local Sponsor

The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is the non-Federal sponsor. The study phase is 100% Federally funded.

Contact Information

Please direct questions or comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District

C/O Mr. Bradley Drouant, P.E.

CEMVN-PMO-L, Room 361

7400 Leake Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70118

Or by email to:

CEMVN-WBVGRR@usace.army.mil