St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans, was one of the areas hit hardest when Hurricane Katrina’s 23-foot storm surge breached the city’s levees in 2005. About 85 percent of the parish lay under water. In the aftermath of Katrina, AECOM played a key role in executing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) $14.2 billion plan to protect New Orleans from future storms.

In addition to providing immediate post-disaster cleanup and restoration support to USACE on more than 30 projects, we provided constructability reviews and construction services to upgrade the levee section known as Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV) 146, located in St. Bernard Parish.

At LPV 146, the AECOM-led team placed more than 100,000 cubic yards of concrete to build approximately eight miles of flood control wall, or “T-wall,” atop the existing levee. Raising the protective barrier from an approximate elevation of 20 feet to 29 feet greatly reduced the area’s vulnerability to potential storm surges.

LPV 146 was a large-scale, highly complex undertaking. The three phases of the $273 million project entailed constructability reviews, which included initial scheduling and cost estimating; plan validation, which required driving of test piles; and finally construction.

As a validation of the quality of AECOM’s work, LPV 146 protected St. Bernard Parish when Hurricane Isaac swept through the area in 2012.



  • Completed entire project without a lost-time accident
  • Reduced project timeline by 42 days and produced $50 million in net project savings
  • Awarded the highest profit rate allowable under a USACE contract—10 percent
  • Earned USACE’s highest performance rating