Sunday, September 18, 2005

Rebuilding New Orleans will be complex and costly

Inquirer Real Estate Writer states there is little doubt that New Orleans will be rebuilt. But engineering and environmental experts nationwide are only beginning to calculate just how complicated the job might be.

Easier soil cleanup

That means all the soil on which New Orleans sits will not have to be removed and replaced. Still, he said, "that doesn't rule out that localized soil cleanups wouldn't have to be undertaken, especially in industrial areas where chemicals have leaked into the ground."

Such local testing will determine whether the soil has "actually crossed some threshold into being a health hazard," said Susan Kidwell, a geophysics professor at the University of Chicago. "If it is truly hazardous, then, like a lot of Superfund sites, they might simply choose to load the new sediment [left by the river] on top rather than remove the existing soil and replace it with clean stuff, since that would be prohibitively expensive."

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