While navigating Uptown New Orleans is likely to remain challenging — to put it charitably — until the final major drainage projects finishes in 2018, one important thoroughfare will soon become a viable option again as Freret Street begins to reopen on both ends of its commercial corridor in the coming weeks.
The intersection of Freret Street and Jefferson Avenue is scheduled to reopen in a week, on May 15, according to information provided by Ricky Boyett, Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Contractors had hoped to have it reopened by the end of April, but several weeks of heavy rains delayed the reopening.
The Freret Street crossing at Napoleon Avenue — which has been closed for much longer, is scheduled to reopen around June 15, according to the schedule provided by Boyett.
The reopening of Freret Street will prove especially important to drivers this summer, when construction on the drainage canals along Jefferson, Napoleon and Louisiana avenues will all push across St. Charles Avenue at once. The simultaneous crossings at St. Charles Avenue have long been planned, officials have said, to disrupt streetcar traffic when it is at its lightest during the summer months.
Below are the current projected completion dates for each leg of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Program, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
- Napoleon Avenue from South Claiborne to Carondelet: July 2015
- Napoleon Avenue from Carondelet to Constance: Nov 2016
- Jefferson Avenue from South Claiborne to Dryades: September 2017
- Jefferson Avenue from Dryades to Constance: March 2016
- Louisiana Avenue from South Claiborne to Constance: February 2018