Corps, Louisiana Agree on a Final MRGO Closure Plan

Fri January 23, 2009 - Southeast Edition

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The Army Corps of Engineers said it will soon begin closing the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet.

The corps and state officials have signed an agreement that lets the work begin.

Col. Alvin Lee, New Orleans corps district commander, said construction of the rock barrier will begin as soon as possible. Corps officials said that could be in December. Once it is closed, the barrier will block all boats and ships from using the channel.

The federal government is paying the entire cost of the construction and the state will acquire the property needed to build and maintain the 950-ft.-long (290 m) structure.

The corps said the structure will be made with 433,500 tons (393,300 t) of rock. At the top, it will be 12 ft. (3.7 m) wide and at the bottom 450 ft. (137 m) wide.