New Orleans seeks demolition bids

By Lindsay Gale12 March 2008

With more than 2,500 buildings still awaiting demolition after being damaged following Katrina, the city of New Orleans is taking bids from companies to oversee their demolition now that the US Army Corp of Engineers is no longer supervising demolition once the responsibility passed on to the city on 29th September, according to Associated Press reports.

The city is planning to have listed properties demolished by the beginning of February 2008. Bids for city-managed demolition contracts require that a city representative must be present at the demolition and that nothing be demolished without site-specific orders prepared by the city.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates, the work will cost at least US$56 million (€40 million), with at least US$44 million (€31 million) of this being demolition costs. This averages out at more than US$23,000 per property, matching a Corp of Engineers estimate of US$20-30,000. However, the cost of private demolition is reported to be substantially lower – of the order of US$ 9-14,000 per structure.

Contractors will be paid by the city, which will then have to process the paperwork through FEMA before it will receive compensating payments.

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