drainage

Jesse Hardman

Last week a delegation from the Crescent City traveled to Austin, Texas. The idea: to check out how Austin manages its water. Drought-stricken Texas has too little water; New Orleans often has too much. But they have a surprising amount to learn from each other.

A group of New Orleans based developers, city planners, landscape architects and community members gathered at the Propeller business incubator offices last night to discuss potential changes in city standards for water management.

Times Picayune archives

When it comes annual rainfall, New Orleans is the third wettest city in the country, next to Pensacola, Florida, and Mobile, Alabama. Historically, this city below sea level has dealt with large amounts of rain by trying to keep as much water out as possible. Now, urban planners, land conservationists and city officials are trying out new strategies to manage water. Keeping more water in, rather than trying to pump it out, may be better for the city than we thought.

A Baton Rouge company has a $44.8 million, 48-month contract for concrete-covered canals along two New Orleans streets.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the canals will reduce the risk of damages from the equivalent of about nine inches of rain over 24 hours. Such storms have a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year.

Cajun Constructors Inc. has the contract for about 3,700 feet of canal along Jefferson Avenue between Dryades and Constance streets, and another 1,300 feet along Prytania Street between Nashville and Jefferson avenues.

Ouachita Parish officials say they're seeking more than $165,000 in state funding for drainage improvement projects.

The News-Star reports that the parish typically receives $145,000 a year from the Local Government Assistance Program.

However, the Police Jury only gets $60,000 because the rest is divided among the cities of Monroe and West Monroe and the towns of Richwood and Sterlington.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After months of delay over legal wrangling, a federal judge says the Army Corps of Engineers can re-start the bidding process for a $700 million contract to build pump stations at the mouths of three drainage canals in New Orleans. Two of the canals were breached during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Nearly two dozen water and urban planning experts from the Netherlands have been reviewing the system in the city of New Orleans. They've come up with some ambitious concepts outlined today at Tulane University.

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