NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District will use Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) to expedite construction of the proposed Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex project.  This Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction project, when complete, will reduce the risk from storm surge for residents and businesses in the west bank area.

Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) allows members of the construction industry to participate in the early stages of the design and planning for this $500 M plus project.  ECI also enables the Corps to incorporate innovative construction sequencing techniques into the proposed plan for the West Closure Complex project.

“Early Contractor Involvement is a beneficial tool for all those involved due to the magnitude and complexity of the project ahead.  The New Orleans District has never used ECI as an acquisition strategy before, and we are excited about the benefits it brings to this momentous project,” said COL Alvin Lee, New Orleans District Commander.

The Corps will host a Pre-Proposal Conference on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, at the New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway Hotel to discuss the terms and conditions of the ECI solicitation with members of the industry.  Further information is available at: as well as at:  The project solicitation number is W912P809R0004.

The proposed West Closure Complex would reduce the risk of storm surge from an event that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year for a majority of the west bank area by preventing storm surge from entering the Harvey and Algiers canals.

The Corps’ proposed action for the project will require an unprecedented 20,000 cubic feet per second storm water drainage pumping station, the largest of this type in the nation.  The proposed complex also features two navigable floodgates, as well as levee and flood wall construction.  In addition, the project is adjacent to an Environmental Protection Agency wetland area of national significance, and construction impacts on this area must be kept to a minimum.

        The Corps is working in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency, federal and state resource agencies, non-federal partners, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West Bank, as well as other interested stakeholders, to develop the best engineering alternative with the fewest unavoidable environmental impacts.