Levee sheet pilings surprise
Dang. It would have been so convenient to nail the Corps of Engineers for those levee failures. Apparently, though, those sheet pilings that seemed (via seismic tests) to have been driven to only ten feet were, in fact, driven to the specified depth. From NOLA.com:
While the hands-on measurements seem to reduce the possibility of criminal conduct, corps officials and independent engineers said serious questions remain about how the wall failed during the Aug. 29 storm.
“The investigation will be ongoing until we find out exactly why, the scientific and engineering reasons why some levee parts of the system were able to withstand the forces of this hurricane and others did not,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Crear, commander of Task Force Hope, which is assisting in the recovery of the New Orleans area.
I believe completely that the reasons for the breaches will be exposed. They have to be. However, if large sections of the system have to be redesigned and rebuilt because of the soil composition, I’m concerned that NOLA may be facing a (possibly) insurmountable problem. (Of course, my concerns rest partially on my lack of a civil engineering degree. My educational sheet pilings in this subject are driven to almost no depth at all...)
The mystery continues…