The Army Corps of Engineers has scheduled two virtual public meetings on its environmental assessment of a $2 billion plan to elevate levees and build stronger floodwalls along the Mississippi River from Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico, with most of the projects planned for areas in Louisiana around New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The meetings will be streamed live on the Facebook page of the agency’s New Orleans District office on Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. and Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. The Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/usacenola/.
During the meeting, comments will be accepted through Facebook or by calling or texting (601) 392-2237. Written comments may also be emailed to MRL-SEISemail@example.com or mailed to District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, 4155 Clay St., Vicksburg, Miss., 39138-3435.
The proposed improvements are included in a draft supplemental environmental impact statement. The draft amends a 1976 environmental statement issued in support of improvements at that time to the corps’ Mississippi River and Tributaries project, which includes the entire river.
The new work, still in the planning stages, would be divided into 143 projects in seven states, with 92 projects totaling $1.6 billion in Louisiana.
The Louisiana projects include individual work on both sides of the river to elevate more than 140 miles of levees as much as 3 feet, and to replace almost 8 miles of floodwalls with stronger and taller walls.
The wall work is almost all in the New Orleans area, including new floodwalls along the Port of New Orleans, in the French Quarter and possibly at Algiers Point.
The improvement plan follows repeated years of high-river events, dating from 2011, that have stressed segments of the levee system. It also includes adjustments for the effects of climate change on future rainfall.
The draft impact statement and additional meeting details are available online at the project website: http://www.mvk.usace.army.mil/MRLSEIS/.