Rock Island, IL - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Rock Island District has teamed with New Orleans District and other U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices to design and construct the greater New Orleans area Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). This $14.3 billion project is designed to reduce storm surge risk to the greater New Orleans area and be completed in 2011.
Rock Island District opened the doors to its Rock Island New Orleans Support (RINOS) Office and will celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on May 1 at 1 p.m. on Rock Island Arsenal, Building 68, third floor.
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The RINOS office is responsible for providing New Orleans District with project management, engineering, design, contracting, real estate and other support for four specific HSDRRS projects totaling nearly $1 billion of construction, and includes the world's largest interior drainage pumping station. The four projects are on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the greater New Orleans area. The Rock Island District plans to bolster its workforce by hiring more than 100 government employees and contractors in 2009, mostly engineers and scientists, to help complete the four projects and meet other increased workload requirements. Half of those will be working full-time in the RINOS office.
Recognizing that a tremendous amount of work must be completed in a very short timeframe, Corps leadership is leveraging the expertise of all six Corps Districts in the Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) and other Corps and professional organizations to include the Engineer Research and Development Center, which has a major laboratory in Champaign, Illinois associated with the University of Illinois.
A top domestic priority for the nation, the HSDRRS incorporates 350 miles of levees and floodwalls designed to reduce the risk of flooding during a storm event that has a one percent chance of occurring any given year in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005, flooded approximately 80 percent of New Orleans. With post-Katrina design criteria and full federal funding, the Corps is on track to provide this level of risk reduction in 2011. The RINOS office is helping the Corps meet that objective.
Col. (Ret.) Tom Hodgini, formerly the Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Louis District, has been chosen to lead the RINOS team. Stanley Consultants of Muscatine, Iowa, is working with New Orleans District contractor ECM-GEC JV of Metairie, Louisiana, to provide engineering support to the RINOS Office.
"We are honored to be able to provide some of our expertise in this part of the Mississippi Valley and Midwest to assist the nation in accomplishing this important mission in New Orleans," said Col. Robert Sinkler, Rock Island District Commander. "We will still be able to accomplish the New Orleans mission, complete 2008 Midwest flood recovery efforts, and meet all of our other responsibilities within the five 300-mile river basins of the Midwestern state area we serve."
For more information about the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System visit the web @ http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/hps2/