Press releases

NEW ORLEANS – Sen. John Kennedy today gathered with local, state and federal officials on the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier in New Orleans to recognize the completion of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Kennedy was instrumental in reducing the federal debt the state of Louisiana owes on the storm barrier by $1.3 billion.

Louisianians are the toughest people I know. After enduring five hurricanes in the past two years, we know well that you can never be too prepared—that’s why this investment is so important. Without the deal we worked out to reduce the interest Louisiana was paying for this crucial project, the taxpayers of my state would have been forced to foot the bill for an extra $1.3 billion. Our people need more hurricane protection and less debt, and today we celebrate both of those successes,” said Kennedy.

In 2022, the US Army Corps of Engineers completed the 130-mile Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System and turned it over to the state to operate and maintain.

Thanks to a provision that Kennedy negotiated into a federal spending bill, the Corps of Engineers agreed to accept, without interest, Louisiana's cost share loan payment for the storm protection system that encircles the New Orleans area. The state of Louisiana must simply repay the remaining unpaid principal balance by Sept. 30, 2023. This provision eliminates $1.3 billion of debt that Louisiana would have otherwise owed to the Corps.