Don't let the Corps of Engineers get away with building us "jelly doughnut" levees!
We all remember --at right-- when the Corps tried to put newspaper in our own floodwalls over here on the East Bank.
Well, Gentle'rillas, it gets worse --this time on the West Bank --with tires, shopping carts, huge chunks of steel, concrete boulders and bad soils to boot!
Had we the 8/29 Investigation of our levee failures, put forth 5 yrs ago by Levees.org, we wouldn't have this Corps boo'rah today.
Yet now, the corps assembled what it calls a Tiger Team -- a group of engineers from outside the New Orleans district office -- to inspect the project after the levee authority raised persistent concerns about woody debris in the clay. That's what should happen. But the levee authority is questioning the Tiger Team's independence. The authority wants a review by a third party, arguing that local corps officials are exerting too much influence over testing. They cite an incident early this month when levee authority inspectors were trying to collect their own samples from test trenches. Mr. Merritt, who serves as the levee authority's representative on the Tiger Team, said that the contractor, Phylway Construction of Thibodaux, scooped excavated clay back into the trench with a bulldozer while levee authority inspectors riding a Bobcat were scrambling to get samples. The corps officials there did nothing to stop the contractor, Mr. Merritt said. He called the incident an "outrageous escalation of ongoing interference'' with levee testing efforts. Another levee board member, Paul Dauphin, said it was an attempt to "bulldoze the evidence.'' "I think they're going to minimize everything and say that this levee is technically sound and safe or whatever,'' Mr. Dauphin said of the corps. "But we've got to look at this with our common sense, with our gut and with our concern for residents who live here and ask, 'Do I want to live behind a levee that has shopping carts, tires, hubcaps and firewood in it?' ''
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