The Shaw Group Inc. announced Tuesday that the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier project achieved its milestone of 100-year-level storm protection for the greater New Orleans area before the 2011 hurricane season, which begins Wednesday.

Shaw, of Baton Rouge, received the contract in 2008. Shaw has nearly completed construction on the largest design-build project ever awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps set a deadline of June 2011 for the project’s completion.

The 26-foot-high, two-mile barrier is meant to help protect greater New Orleans from a 100-year-level storm and is a key part of the corps’ Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.

Shaw recently installed the surge barrier’s sector gates, one of three gate structures in the project. With construction nearly complete, the surge barrier’s major components are in place and capable of mitigating the risks associated with a 100-year-level storm.

Carbo to hire 40 for New Iberia plant

A previously reported expansion of Carbo Ceramics Inc. will be a $17 million investment and add 40 jobs at the New Iberia plant, the company and the governor said Tuesday in a joint news release.

The company already employs 75 workers.

The project was announced by the company in February with few details.

The new jobs at Carbo’s facility at Airport Industrial Park will average about $50,000 a year, plus benefits, and the company plans to complete hiring and a renovation of its facilities in the fourth quarter, according to the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. Carbo is adding a second production line to the Iberia Parish facility.

The Houston company’s products include the ceramic-coated material, called proppant, used to hold open the cracks formed in oil and natural gas reservoirs by hydraulic fracturing.

Carbo will participate in the state’s economic development incentive programs like the Industrial Tax Exemption program, which waives property taxes for up to 10 years on materials purchased for new manufacturing. The company will also take part in LED’s Quality Jobs program, which offers partial cash rebates on new salaries if certain hiring criteria are met or the program will offer a 1.5 percent investment tax credit on qualified expenses. Carbo will also participate in Louisiana FastStart, a job-training program.