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Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System


Site preparation begins at New Orleans VA medical center construction site

A bulldozer and a water truck prepare a construction site

Construction equipment begins moving dirt and sand for surcharging on the replacement medical center construction site in New Orleans. (Photo by Stephanie Repasky)

By Karen Collins
Thursday, February 23, 2012

On February 22, Department of Veterans Affairs construction contractors began unloading sand at the construction site of the $995 million VA medical center to prepare the site for pile driving.

This process, called surcharging, uses the weight of the sand to push water out of the ground, compressing it to reduce the settlement of any structure subsequently built.

In the first phase of surcharging, Clark McCarthy Healthcare Partners, in a joint venture with Louisiana firms Woodward Design + Build and Landis Construction Company, will distribute the sand, build protective berms and create a drainage system. This phase of surcharging should take approximately six months.

“Surcharging is the next major step before we start driving piles and putting up new buildings,” says Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System Director Julie Catellier. “We’re one step closer to providing the most modern, world-class service to Veterans, not only in southeast Louisiana, but throughout the Gulf Coast.”

For issues or questions regarding construction of this project, residents can call the Community Outreach Hotline at 504-335-2435.  General questions about VA or its replacement medical center should be directed to the Project Legacy Office at 504-558-1433.

For the most up-to-date information about construction of the new VA medical center, log on to the local VA website at, like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at


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