outflow canals

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers is getting closer to completing new storm protection at the 17th Street, Orleans Avenue and London Avenue canals.

The $615 million system is scheduled to be done in less than three years. Its permanent structures will reduce risk of 100-year level storm surges in New Orleans.

Lieutenant Colonel Austin Appleton is the Army Corps Deputy Commander for the New Orleans District. “What this is doing is pushing the defense of the storm surge to the edge of the city," he says. "Prior, the defense was the interior walls of the canal.”

The Army Corps of Engineers has restarted bidding for a $700 million contract to design and build permanent storm surge closure and pump stations on three canals that end in Lake Pontchartrain. Levees on two of them broke after Hurricane Katrina, letting floodwaters into the city.

The projects represent the final major construction of the post-Katrina levee system.