New Orleans Will Get Big Bill For Levee Upkeep

NEW ORLEANS (November 27, 2012)--By the time the next hurricane season starts in June 2013, New Orleans will take control of much of a revamped protection system of gates, walls and armored levees that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent about $12 billion to build.

The corps has about $1 billion worth of work left.

Engineers consider it a Rolls Royce of flood protection comparable to systems in seaside European cities such as Venice and Rotterdam.

Whether the infrastructure can hold is less in question than whether New Orleans can be trusted with the keys.

The Army Corps estimates upkeep and operations will cost $38 million a year and local flood-control chief Robert Turner says he has questions about where that money will come from.

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