Meeting geotechnical challenges Post Katrina

Redesigning Storm protection infrastructure for new Orleans

Posted on 31 October 2011

Meeting geotechnical challenges Post Katrina

The effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, Louisiana was catastrophic. On August 29, 2005, one of the most violent storms to strike the coast of the United Sates in the last 100 years came ashore in the vicinity of the city, bringing winds with sustained speeds of 125 mph and a tidal surge equivalent to that of a Category 5 hurricane. The flooding that resulted from the storm surge made Katrina one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes in history.


In January 2007 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers entered into a contract with a joint venture comprising Fugro Consultants Inc., Fuller Mossbarger Scott & May, Eustis Engineering and Burns Cooley Dennis to begin the geotechnical exploration and testing required to provide design input for new enhanced flood protection systems throughout the New Orleans District. The $100 million contract is the single largest geotechnical services contract awarded in the United States and provides a framework for services to be delivered over the next three years.


  • Geotechnical studies focusing on 560 km of federal levees
  • hundreds of kilometres of supplementary levees
  • and a multitude of pump stations, floodwalls and floodgates
  • and anti-erosion armouring

Project location

Project partners

  • Fugro Water Services