The documents indicated that the steel reinforcements in the levee, known as sheet piling, went to a depth of 17.5 feet below sea level. Sonar tests indicated the pilings went only to 10 feet below sea level, meaning the flood wall would have been much weaker than intended.
The LSU team is working on a report for the state that will say there were serious, fundamental design and construction flaws at both the 17th Street and London Avenue canals. Both broke during Hurricane Katrina, flooding much of the city.
Engineers confirm LSU levee study CNN.com Thursday, December 1, 2005; Posted: 11:23 a.m. EST (16:23 GMT)
The CNN story concludes:
Engineering studies prior to construction of the flood wall were performed by Eustis Engineering, Modjeski and Masters Inc. and the Corps. Members of the LSU team have expressed shock that all three could have missed what they characterized as fundamental flaws.
Calls to Eustis and Modjeski and Masters were not returned Wednesday. Van Heerden said the federal government bears ultimate responsibility.What was the Corps thinking? And where was Homeland Security?