Fix the pumps

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Corps admits they've screwed up pump station repairs

A few days ago, the Corps changed their Hurricane Protection System webpage a bit. Well, it was only a tiny bit - they changed the background from blue to an odd graph-paper pattern.

There were also a couple of new uploads. The first was a new "newsletter" (read: propaganda). The second is a pair of new files detailing the "progress" on all of their post-Katrina work. The first file of the pair details the work of the 135-member Hurricane Protection Office. You can link to it on the Corps' page here, or you can get it from my online file storage here. Here's the particular table listing most of the work on the Orleans Parish pump stations:

The schedule for the award of projects OPS-06 through OPS-10 has now moved to the fourth quarter of this year. That is the fourth different deadline for awarding those projects. Earlier deadlines were in early May, early August, and "sometime" in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006 (Jul 1-Sep 30, 2006). We are now over a month into the fourth quarter of this year, and there's no indication the work will go out for bid anytime soon. Don't take my word for it. Look at the Corps' own progress report on projects OPS-06, -07, -08, -09, and -10:

Yes, that's ZERO percent.

This is work that was authorized in an unprecedented exception to the Corps' own regulations in October, 2005 (13 months ago). It was officially funded by the 3rd Katrina supplemental bill (signed Dec. 30, 2005, 11 months ago), and the Corps issued guidance on how to spend the money on February 14, 2006 (almost 9 months ago).

There's absolutely no excuse for this work to remain undone. None!

By the way, there's one other bit of work at the Orleans Parish pump stations the Corps has fallen down on. They were supposed to finish off the installation of backup 60-cycle generators and fuel tanks at Pump Station 6, at the southern end of the 17th Street canal - work started last year by the Sewerage & Water Board. This work is apparently not important either.

As you can see, both contracts were due to be awarded sometime during the third quarter of this year (June-September).

According to the progress-o-meter:

Yep, ZERO percent again. Oddly, this says the fuel tank contract has been awarded, but I haven't seen that at all on the Corps' "Award/Bid Results" page. I'll check up on it. I wouldn't be surprised, since the pump station roofing repair contract was not publicly bid either.

Why is this happening? Simple - they just don't care.

Update, 7/23/07:
The generator work at PS#6 was not started until November 17, 2006. More details here.


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