the US Army Corps of Engineers will hand over control of much of the city’s ~$13B levee system next summer. But with ownership/control comes responsibility, at the tune of an estimated $38M a year. Few are arguing that the city’s protective system is bad, but it’s unclear if or how the city will be able to pay to maintain it.
Engineers consider it a Rolls Royce of flood protection — comparable to systems in seaside European cities such as St. Petersburg, Venice, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Whether the infrastructure can hold is less in question than whether New Orleans can be trusted with the keys.