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electromotive17
09-07-2005, 05:20 AM
Question to all,is it not mandatory to place re bar in load bearing levee walls,note look at all photos of collapsed wall it is a clean break no rebar ,rebar does not keep concrete from cracking it helps to keep it from separating note clean break ?? is all the levee this way, may be i looked at photos wrong.

Doc Nickel
09-07-2005, 05:30 AM
The concrete sections, as I understand it, are the upper "flood control" barriers.

The earthen walls upon which they sit are the actual levee- the concrete barriers simply add a few more feet of storm-surge and high-water protection, when needed.

I assumed they were cast in prefab sections, and installed later, like concrete traffic barriers.

Doc.

electromotive17
09-07-2005, 06:29 AM
Still are levee walls supposed to have re bar installed for re enforcement or not.

rws
09-07-2005, 07:36 AM
Well, the so called experts, the Corps of Engineers, built/designed the thing. That should tell the tale. Why the Government regards them as the last word in construction is beyond me. I have done work for them, and believe me, they aint what they are supposed to be. There is a saying, the right way, the wrong way, and the Corps way. After all, they tried to stop and divert Niagra Falls! And they failed at that too!

Happy
09-07-2005, 12:03 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rws:
Well, the so called experts, the Corps of Engineers, built/designed the thing. That should tell the tale. Why the Government regards them as the last word in construction is beyond me. I have done work for them, and believe me, they aint what they are supposed to be. There is a saying, the right way, the wrong way, and the Corps way. After all, they tried to stop and divert Niagra Falls! And they failed at that too!</font>

actually, they can stop Niagara falls at any time, and use the flow for power plants. they don't because it is a tourist trap, and for the fish. the flow during the day is much greater than at night, for the tourists benefit.

Paul Alciatore
09-07-2005, 01:47 PM
When I lived in NO I saw a lot of those structures up close. As Doc said, they are basicially earthen structures. They will use whatever trash fill/debris that is available. Broken up roadway pieces are a favorite as there is little stone in the region. Large stones add a lot of strength to the structure.

Some of them have been supplemented with the interlocking steel planks used as retaining walls on construction sites. These can add 5-10 feet of height and provide some measure of erosion resistance if the water should overflow. Others have concrete of different sorts added to the top for similar reasons. Even concrete debris can add a significant measuer of erosion resistance if added to the top of a levee.

Where it is used, poured concrete will have re-bar in it. At least when it is first installed. Salt water has a nasty habit of penetrating any small crack and eating up the steel. A 20 or 30 year old concrete structure that has been constantly exposed to salt water all that time may have severely weakened or even completely rusted re-bar. Weakened re-bar can easily snap clean and not show very much protrusion even at a fresh break. Add the general debris of a broken levee and the lake water rushing through and it can be hard to spot the re-bar even standing there, much less in TV pictures.

Frankly, I am surprised at the criticism of the Army Corp of Engineers. The Army is the most competent agency on the NO scene. If you want to blame anyone, look to the presidents, congressmen, and other politicians who withheld funding for the improvements they wanted to make. Or look to the voters who always vote for the jackass who promises everything AND LOWER TAXES. You get what you pay for.

Paul A.
Ex Army Type and VERY PROUD of it.

sauer38h
09-07-2005, 03:25 PM
Ahh, no, we pay in any case. Whether we get anything for it or not is another question.

pgmrdan
09-07-2005, 05:23 PM
"Still are levee walls supposed to have re bar installed for re enforcement or not."

Not the ones I've seen. They're made of dirt. Flood walls are made of concrete and flood gates are made of steel.

Rich Carlstedt
09-08-2005, 12:02 AM
Actually the levee is made with a steel wall backed by CLAY
that was the part that failed

this is the same method Kalifornia uses on their "Earthen Dams", that give way every time a animal digs a tunnel from one side to the other

the sweet taste of economy, turns bitter with the reality of failure.

rkepler
09-08-2005, 11:24 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">the sweet taste of economy, turns bitter with the reality of failure.</font>

From what I've read the levees failed at areas that had been finished to the "Category 3" standard - i.e. were among the strongest levees in the system. Too bad the storm was a Cat 4 when it hit New Orleans, huh? Particularly since a Cat 4 storm can be expected every 60 years or so.

As for economy, if the local and state government didn't feel it was necessary to upgrade their levee system I don't think it's necessary for the funding to come exclusively from other state's taxpayers (federal taxes). If I read right a major part of the federal funds made available in the 1960's were not used because of a failure of the locals to provide the (10%?) matching funds. At the same time they were able to fund the Superdome, Riverwalk, convention center, etc.

I see it kind of like having a neighbor who's always throwing parties, but want to borrow all your tools when he needs them. Sorry, but a failure on my neighbor's part to plan doesn't place any particular obligation on my part.

I'd suggest relocating everyone out of the flooded areas and allowing them to return to wetlands over time - killing 2 birds with one stone as it were.

DBW
09-08-2005, 12:03 PM
Another point to remember is that the political
control of each NO levee is controlled by a separate commitee and political hacks. No wonder nothing was done!

1

Paul Alciatore
09-08-2005, 12:43 PM
If you notice on some of the TV pictures, one side of a canal has a concrete topped levee and the other side just plain dirt. Those canals are on the parish boundaries and the earth levee side is flooded while the concrete topped side is dry. Guess which side is the City of NO. I strongly suspect that those canal levees are built and maintained by the local city or parish while the levees on the river and lake are Core of Engineers. As far as I can observe, the breaks were mostly in the canal levees, not the lake or river.

Local politicians. Need I say more?

Paul A.

Tin Falcon
09-08-2005, 05:29 PM
Read the Army corp of enginerrs manual EM 110-2-2602 retaining and flood walls.And/or EM110-2-1913 designandconstuction of levees. dowload it an many others from http://www.usace.army.mil/inet/usace-docs/eng-manuals/em.htm

[This message has been edited by Tin Falcon (edited 09-08-2005).]

AZSORT
09-08-2005, 05:45 PM
I hear a lot of hindsight along the lines: "we could have spent 100 million before to prevent this problem, now its going to cost 100 billion." This is faulty thinking because, without knowing where the crises is going to occur, you would also have to spend the same amount on the 1000 other potential problems out there. This situation probably deserved more funding but people always think if they would have fixed this one little thing, now that its obvious which one it is. Its usually not possible to predict the next crises and the facts of life are that it is sometimes more expedient to clean up an actual mess than it is to protect against all the potential ones. I'm sure that honest risk management takes a back seat to political manuevering anyway. Got any smartass newscasters out there that can tell us where the next crises is going to be?

Al Messer
09-08-2005, 08:52 PM
I read on one site today that part of the Federal Funds that were supposed to be used on levee maintenance was actually siphoned off/diverted to build a marina and to subsidize the floating casinos. Wonder if this is true or not? If is it, some local NO officials ought to be in deep trouble.

HTRN
09-08-2005, 09:10 PM
Why do you think The Bianco and Nagin are so hot to put the stink on Bush? Both are pair of incompetent weasels.

Everything I've seen so far is that the concrete flood walls(specifically, along the 17th street canal), built in 1965, are what failed. The Levee's did their job, and are still there, underwater.


HTRN

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This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

jkilroy
09-08-2005, 11:34 PM
I work for that particular goverment group that designs and builds levees.

The way I understand it...

1. The Levees on the lake north of New Orleans ARE NOT FEDERAL LEVEES! The Corps of Engineers is not responsible in any way for there upkeep. That is a state issue.

2. The Corps of Engineers DOES NOT BUILD LEVEES FOR FLOOD CONTROL. We build levees for navigation. Flood control is someone elses problem. The Levees on the Mississippi through New Orleans ARE Corps levees.

3. The state of Louisiana has been warned and warned over and over about this. They kept 50,000 body bags on hand, they knew good and well it could get really ugly. They did blow there levee funds on everything but the levees. Supporting the Casino boats to be exact.

HTRN
09-08-2005, 11:45 PM
Didn't they also build a Marina with that money? Kinda makes you wonder who had a silent partnership in the construction companies....


HTRN

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This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

Rich Carlstedt
09-09-2005, 12:21 AM
Just to put a little perspective on this..
We only have 100,000 people in Green Bay and about 220,00 in the whole County. When the Packers decided to build a new stadium 5 years ago, no one would help build it, so the County fathers floated a referendum for 300 Million bucks, and guess what? as a resident of this community, I get to pay for this ????developement...No Federal spending....No State spending ...just us Locals
Boy am I happy ! ....NOT

Now try to tell me that New Orleans with well over 5 times the number of folks we have, can't afford 1.5 Billion ( 5 x 300K= 1.5B)dollars for a safe envirionment...
I'll tell you why...it's "
Let the other guy pay for it !"

Wine and Cry ! or should it be...CRY for more WINE