Washington, D.C. - The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) applauded the successes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as federal, state and local entities working together to mitigate the powerful effects unleashed by Hurricane Gustav over the past several days.
"Thanks to the work of the Corps of Engineers, government officials at all levels and the hard work of the construction industry, the New Orleans area has the best hurricane and storm damage reduction in its history," said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors.
Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, construction contractors have worked tirelessly to complete the repair and restoration of 220 miles of floodwalls and levees. Specifically, floodwalls have been reinforced at numerous locations, I-walls replaced by stronger T-walls at breach sites, floodwalls have been armored and the transition points between flood walls and levees have been significantly strengthened. There are, however, still gaps in the system and some areas of the Gulf Coast remain vulnerable. Contractors are now half-way through a six-year project to provide New Orleans with 100-year level of hurricane and storm damage reduction by 2011.
The success of recent construction improvements in the Gulf Coast highlight the need for substantially more investment in critical environmental and public safety needs to improve our nation's well-being. "America needs these investments now to help spur our economy and keep America strong and safe," added Sandherr. "AGC will continue to lead the way for the construction industry and will work to emphasize the massive need for additional investment in levees, locks and dams and other critical infrastructure improvements."
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 33,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors, and over 12,500 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org.