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Saturday, January 22, 2011

2nd Phase of FEMA Sidewalk Repairs

Many thanks to Susan Guidry's Office, Rico Sterling specifically, & Robert Mendoza for forwarding our questions to the right person for an answer. We'll talk about how to engage in the next phase of the process at the February neighborhood meeting.

Ms. Hazlett,

You did hear correctly that another round of FEMA roadway & sidewalk repairs will take place. Phase II neighborhood damage assessments are underway right now to evaluate additional roadway and sidewalk damages. Additional damages are identified through feedback from constituents via Additional Damage Repair (ADR) forms and site visits performed by the Department of Public Works (DPW). Below is a brief summary of the assessment process and a tentative plan for future construction.

DPW is in the process of working with FEMA and GOHSEP (State) to perform the second round of damage assessments (Phase II) for roadway and sidewalk repairs in a neighborhood by neighborhood process. DR Consultants, the program manager for DPW, has coordinated with FEMA and State liaisons to perform field assessments based on neighborhood size and flooding level by Council District. Over the past several months, FEMA has assessed the following neighborhoods: the Lower Ninth Ward, St. Claude and Marlyville-Fontainebleau. The joint assessment team will shortly conclude its re-evaluation of the Lakeview neighborhood. The current pace of damage assessments has varied by the size of the neighborhood.

DPW’s coordination with the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) of New Orleans is also another factor affecting the pace and schedule of neighborhood assessments. The department is currently coordinating with S&WB and with FEMA to support the development of a comprehensive road infrastructure repair program. Through coordination with S&WB, Public Works will ensure that repairs to subsurface water mains and sewer lines take place prior to road repairs. Sewerage and Water Board will provide Public Works with a list of evaluations based upon a citywide water system assessment. S&WB is currently conducting this evaluation in order to appropriately coordinate the order of the Phase II FEMA neighborhood assessments.

Once assessments are conducted, FEMA Project Officers draft new project grants to include all identified eligible damages using finalized field reports and final cost estimates for additional repairs from the second round. The new FEMA grant then enters FEMA’s review queues which includes the Washington, D.C. “million dollar” queue before final obligation of additional funding to the City. Obligated funding will enable the City of New Orleans to perform additional eligible repairs.

Following that obligation of additional funding, DPW will solicit bids and let contracts for proposed Phase II repairs by Council District. The department can issue work orders after repair contractors are selected through the City’s formal procurement process. Since contractors will be tasked with addressing multiple neighborhoods within the same interval, we can anticipate a citywide intensive multi-year program to repair roadways and sidewalks.

In support of a comprehensive citywide road infrastructure system, Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu met with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in Washington, D.C. earlier this week to lobby for continued rebuilding support. This included the need for comparable grant funding for the Sewerage & Water Board to effectively implement its water system repair program. As a result of this week’s meeting, Fugate agreed that regular meetings with Mayor Landrieu and City Executive officials will occur at the FEMA regional and local level to resolve significant recovery issues over the next six months.

Please note that I have attached two documents to this email. The first is a copy of the cumulative Additional Damage Report recently submitted by DPW to FEMA for the Leonidas & West Carrollton neighborhood. You will note that the summary report lists damages by location, repair type and repair dimensions. The report lists (11) damages on Pritchard Place for roadway and sidewalk repair. FEMA will utilize this report during the re-assessment of the Leonidas & West Carrollton neighborhood.

The second document is a copy of the Additional Damage Repair form with attached instructions. Any additional feedback you and/or other members of NorthWest Carrollton can provide us would benefit the neighborhood re-assessment process. If you are able, we can coordinate a time frame to compile completed ADR forms from NorthWest Carollton members. Any additional forms you and I compile can be used to supplement the Additional Damage Report that FEMA will utilize during the neighborhood re-assessment.

Thank you.
Ondina M. Canales
Disaster Recovery Consultants, LLC
504-875-0938 (c)

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