Since they have been popping up alot in the environmental section...here is a series of stories on them you may find interesting. http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/nation/A36661-2000Sep8.html
* New Orleans Industrial Canal lock replacement: This $641 million project would be one of the most expensive locks ever built. It was justified in March 1997 by projections that barge traffic would gradually increase, even though traffic had been dropping for a decade. And it has continued to decline so fast that the project can no longer be justified with Corps data. The Corps also cited safety concerns, but the National Transportation Safety Board says the new lock "would not necessarily reduce the hazards." Local activists believe the 10-year project will ruin two
historic black neighborhoods. But former House Appropriations Committee chairman Robert Livingston (r-La.) is pushing the project as a lobbyist for the Port of New Orleans, and the Corps is forging ahead.
* Oregon Inlet jetties: The Corps wants to build two jetties to protect fishing boats in North Carolina's Outer Banks. The fleet has 215 commercial vessels, so the $108 million project, authorized in 1970, would
cost about $500,000 per boat. The Interior Department believes it would cause serious erosion problems on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and Cape Hatteras
National Seashore, so it has refused to allow the Corps to build the jetties from its land. This summer, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) tried to slip an amendment into a budget bill to transfer the land to the Corps, but Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) blocked it.
* Deer Creek Debris Basin: The Corps completed this Southern California flood control project in 1982, but it is embroiled in a new controversy. The project was
supposed to cost $28 million and protect San Bernardino County neighborhoods from the kind of flood that happens once every 200 years. It ended up costing $140 million, and recent evaluations have found the basin will only withstand a 20-year flood. Robert kirby, a former Corps employee who helped design the project, called the project unsafe in a recent affidavit: "I am very concerned that homes, business and schools could be damaged and people could suffer if the problems . . . are not rectified immediately."
* Pentagon renovations: The Army Corps may be a Pentagon agency, but it was fired from the $1.2 billion Pentagon renovation project this year.
Technically, it quit, but only after the Defense Department's project manager, Walker Lee Evey, sharply cut back its role, complaining that it wasn't flexible
enough for the job. Evey says he constrained the Corps because it wasn't "responding to challenges," because it couldn't handle having a secondary role in the project, and because it represents "the old way of doing major construction projects."
* Upper Mississippi lock expansions: Donald Sweeney, a Corps economist, led a five-year study of proposed $1 billion lock expansions on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. But when he concluded the costs would far outweigh the benefits, senior Corps commanders took him off the study. In February, The Post published Corps e-mails that showed how officials then launched a campaign "to develop evidence or data to
support a defensible set of . . . projects," announcing that if the economics did not "capture the need for navigation improvements, then we have to find
some other way to do it." The alleged misconduct is the subject of several investigations, and two independent economic analyses have upheld Sweeney's view that the project is unnecessary.
* Apalachicola River navigation: The Corps has channelized dozens of rivers for barges that never arrived, and the Apalahicola-Chattahoochee-Flint
River system in Georgia and Florida is a conspicuous example. The Corps still spends nearly $3 million a year dredging it, killing fish and damaging endangered mussel beds, but it only floats a few barges a week.
In January, when The Post chronicled the plight of "low-volume waterways" such as the Red, White and Missouri rivers, Assistant Army Secretary Joseph Westphal vowed to reevaluate the entire navigation system. Now he has made the A-C-F his first target,
declaring in letters to Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) and Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) that maintaining both rivers for barges is "not economically justified or environmentally defensible."
The Ole Man
09-12-00, 04:48 PM
Yeah, the Corp has been out of control for a long time. A Corp without "projects" is like a surgeon with no-one to cut on. Long after their necessary work of 50 years ago, they have to think up things to engage in now -in order to continue their existence. Irony now is that more and more of their projects today are cleaning up and correcting their past boondoggles.
Wouldn't it be something if it turned out that cleaning up and correcting their past boondoggles actually proved to be the result of some far-sighted thinking. Let's see... we'll spend a few decades justifying and constructing a bunch of projects which will later be deemed to be undesirable; then we'll spend the next few decades correcting our "mistakes;" then for the next few decades after that we'll... well we won't be around to worry about it, so we'll let another generation take care of perpetuating the system.
Ouch... did that sound bitter somehow?
BeeDub - opposed to government waste and pork barrel projects
09-13-00, 12:03 PM
Big government rules! http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/redface.gif
[This message has been edited by BLACK KNIGHT (edited 09-13-2000).]
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