‘Unforeseen obstacles’ halt levee project

Recent work on the Davis Pond Diversion has impacted the alignment

July 30, 2008 at 8:16 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Because of recent work on the Davis Pond Diversion, the Corps is turning their attention to the second alignment.
Courtsey Photo
Because of recent work on the Davis Pond Diversion, the Corps is turning their attention to the second alignment.
Plans to pick a levee alignment for the West Bank Vicinity Hurricane Protection project have stalled.

Mike Stack, the project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, says that after studying Alignments 2 and  3, unforeseen obstacles forced them to consider some more information before picking either one.

“Scenario 2 is still being studied and surveyed,” he said. “We're still gathering information and more is coming in everyday.”

Stack said Alignment 3, the one most residents prefer because it has the least impact on homes or businesses, would impact the environment and the Davis Pond Diversion.

“There's been some work done on the Davis Pond Diversion that will impact the way they would have to build the levee now,” he said. “Because of that work, the water levels are different and other considerations will now have to be made.”

If Alignment 3 is chosen, Stack says the plans are to try build within the Davis Pond Diversion without having to shut it down.

“Building through there is a bit more complicated than anticipated,” he said. “There's an existing levee there now, but it's much smaller than the levee we want to build.”
Stack says the levee that's already in Davis Pond can't be built up to make it bigger.

“The levee in Davis Pond has a width of 75 feet,” he said “The levee we're building would be between 350 to 450 feet.”
Stack says they the Corps is now focusing on Alignment 2 because they have already studied Alignment 3. However, part of the problem with Alignment 2 is that it will impact some businesses, like Pier 90. It will also cause problems for property owners in the area.

“No residents would be impacted at all if we went with Alignment 3,” he said. “There's no residents or businesses right there, but there's a lot of good marsh and wetlands and we have to take the environmental impact into consideration before we pick a design.”

Stack said their intentions were to pick a preferred alignment and have a decision at the July 22 meeting, but sometimes, things just come up.

“Once we propose an alignment, it will go out for public comment,” he said. “We comment, the public comments and then the commander makes the final decision on what scenario to pick.”

Because of the recent delay, Stack said he's hoping to meet with the public again somewhere around late August or early September. He hopes to have a decision on the proposed alignment by then.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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