NEW ORLEANS, LA – Recently, Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, Chief of Engineers, signed the Chief of Engineers’ Report for the “Morganza to the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana” Post Authorization Change (PAC) report, which submits the PAC report to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for transmission to Congress.
Morganza to the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana was authorized in 2007 prior to development and implementation of post-Hurricane Katrina design standards. In the interest of public safety, and to be consistent with the design policy established for the Greater New Orleans area, the Corps incorporated lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita into the Morganza to the Gulf project. The updated design and costs for the project are reflected in the Final PAC Report published in May 2013.
The Corps of Engineers worked diligently in collaboration with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District (TLCD), other local governmental entities, resource agencies, environmental organizations, landowners and interested citizens to update the Morganza to the Gulf project.
The updated plan outlined in the 2013 PAC Report has the same target level of risk reduction as the previously authorized plan, 1% Annual Exceedance Probability; however, due to more rigorous storm surge modeling and more robust post-Katrina standards, the updated project has been expanded to include 98-miles of earthen levees, 22 floodgates on navigable waterways, 23 environmental control structures for circulation and drainage, nine floodgates across roads and fronting protection for four existing pump stations. The updated total cost for the project is $10,265,100 (October 2012 dollars).
The Final Morganza to the Gulf Final Post-Authorization Change Report and corresponding Environmental Impact Statement were released for a 30-day public review period which ended June 24, 2013. The report of the Chief of Engineers was signed July 8, 2013.
In order to begin construction on the Federal Morganza to the Gulf project, reauthorization from Congress at the cost level provided in the Post Authorization Change (PAC) report, construction appropriations from Congress, a signed Record of Decision on the environmental document, and a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) in place with the non-Federal sponsors, CPRA and TLCD is needed.