Dec 152016

A member of the 610 Stompers leads a cheer as the Krewe of Hermes rolls past Napoleon Avenue construction fences in 2016. All construction on Napoleon will be complete for 2017, the U.S. Army Corps says. (Robert Morris,

Napoleon Avenue parade-goers can get their “Neutral Ground Side” T-shirts out of the mothballs for Mardi Gras 2017, because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that all construction on the avenue will be complete before the first parades roll in 2017.

“The project is scheduled to be complete early next year and the neutral ground will be available for parade goers to stand on for Mardi Gras 2017!” according to a celebratory post on the Facebook page for the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control project.

More specifically, all major construction on Napoleon Avenue will be finished by the time the first Uptown parade, the Krewe of Oshun, rolls at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, according to information released by U.S. Army Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett’s office. The sod will be placed on entire length of the neutral ground, no areas of it will be fenced off, and no holes will remain open in the ground because construction on the underground box culvert is already finished.

If any work on Napoleon Avenue is still unfinished by that point, it will only be minor items like individual curb or sidewalk repairs, Boyett’s office said. Landscaping of the entire Napoleon Avenue neutral ground is then scheduled for the fall planting season in 2017, officials have said.

The Corps also posted a video showing a look inside the completed culvert on Napoleon Avenue:

The end of Napoleon Avenue construction early next year will follow the completion of the “Phase 2” portion of Jefferson Avenue this fall, which included the areas roughly between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street, plus the Prytania Street leg. The only remaining portions of the major SELA project will be Jefferson Avenue “Phase 1,” which is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017, and Louisiana Avenue, which should be finished by the end of 2018.

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