St. Bernard Parish suffered some of the worst damage during Hurricane Katrina when a 23-foot storm surge breached the levees, causing millions of dollars of property destruction. In response, the USACE developed a comprehensive plan to protect this area from future storms.
As the lead of the St. Bernard Levee Partners joint venture, Shimmick was selected to construct 8 miles of flood control wall, or T-wall, on top of the existing levee which is part of the section known as LPV 146. Shimmick achieved the USACE’s promise of a June 1, 2011 completion date ahead of schedule. This time-sensitive and mission-critical project has improved hurricane protection for the citizens and businesses of the Greater New Orleans area. The Shimmick-led team completed preconstruction services, a validation option, and subsequent construction and self-performed 94 percent of the work.
The contract called for Shimmick to participate in the initial planning process, which resulted in a shortened construction schedule and reduced project costs. During this preconstruction period, Shimmick self-performed constructability reviews, value engineering, schedule preparation, estimate preparation, a test pile program, and construction of roads and work platforms. In addition, the scope of work was expanded to include other parts of the St. Bernard levee. Shimmick provided the USACE with over $50 million in cost savings and over 97 days in time savings. Within 120 days all needed components were put in place to enable the start of construction.
The project had limited access, so Shimmick immediately began work on an access road to facilitate mobilization efforts and logistics planning. Labor and material availability was also a challenge with many contractors competing in a $14 billion government procurement program to rebuild the area. Shimmick procured sheet/H-piles in advance to lower cost and ensure availability as well as managed direct hire labor
The project was recognized with numerous awards, including the 2011 USACE New Orleans District Hurricane Protection Office, Certificate of Appreciation for Superior Safety Performance. The team exhibited outstanding management and safety awareness working over 1 million man-hours with zero lost-time accidents.