Beginning on Monday (Feb. 1) and continuing through Friday (Feb. 5), weather permitting, Department of Public Works contractor Wallace C. Drennan Inc. will close the intersection at Cambronne and Birch streets to vehicular traffic as part of the Hollygrove, Leonidas Group A project. Traffic controls and signage will be in place; residents and commuters are reminded to use caution when driving, bicycling and walking near the construction site. Construction crews will close the intersection to remove and replace the entire intersection all at one time.
While the past year has taught us that the future is highly unpredictable, in New Orleans, roadwork will always endure.
As roadwork has been classified an “essential activity,” infrastructure improvements have continued through the pandemic, though with modifications aimed at worker safety. On Thursday (Jan. 14) evening, the Office of Neighborhood Engagement hosted an online meeting to notify St. Thomas and Irish Channel residents about street milling and reconstruction work coming to their area. The $7 million project is officially called East Riverside/Garden District/Irish Channel/St.Thomas Group A.
With about $2.2 billion in funding from FEMA, and additional funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Roadwork NOLA oversees over 200 Department of Public Works and Sewerage & Water Board projects.
Just days after the a cyclist was killed in traffic on St. Charles Avenue, a “ghost bike” was placed at the site to honor his memory. There are a number of groups that make and place these ghost bikes (not to be confused with the Germany-based bicycle company of the same name) around New Orleans. This one was made by Angie Bailleux, who has been fabricating the bikes for going on five years. Bailleux said she does not know the victim.
From the Mayor’s Office
Beginning on Monday (Jan. 11), weather permitting, the New Orleans Department of Public Works’ contractor, Hard Rock Construction Co., will close a travel lane in the 2400 block of South Claiborne Avenue and a portion of the bike lane in the 7900 block of St. Charles Avenue to accommodate sidewalk repairs as part of a city bond-funded sidewalk improvement program. The closures will be in effect from 8 a.m. Monday through the end of the month. Residents and commuters are reminded to use caution when driving, bicycling and walking near the construction site.
The city and the New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition, a group of organizations, businesses, civic leaders and community members, are on a mission to improve roadways and safe transportation options to enhance health, equity, sustainability, prosperity and quality of life in the city.
“It [NOCSC] really is focused on the fact that we as a coalition believe in constructing streets in a way that best accommodate all people safely and easily, no matter how they travel,” said Dan Favre, executive director of Bike Easy, a local bike advocacy and education program and a part of NOCSC. “Whether you’re someone driving, walking, riding a bike, taking transit or using a wheelchair or other mobility assistance devices, we really think that these streets are built to share.”
Through Moving New Orleans Bikes, a city initiative that began in April of last year that the NOCSC is heavily involved with, New Orleans is embarking on a city-wide bike planning effort, building low-stress bikeways in Central City, The Lower Garden District, Mid-City, Faubourg St. John, the 7th Ward, and the CBD. Data used for construction planning include a bicycle equity index, which looks at where people are shown to have historic disadvantages when it comes to transportation, as well as technical aspects such as street sizes and speed limits. In addition to research and data, feedback from the community has also been incorporated.
For the past two years, a group of planners has been working to turn around public transportation in New Orleans and the rest of the region. It is now seeking feedback on its New Links report, a plan for our buses and streetcars, reimagined with the idea that the system needs to serve more people more efficiently. New Links is a project of the Regional Planning Commission, building on long-range strategic plans by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority and Jefferson Transit. Planners gathered public feedback and crunched numbers to come up with a transit design that takes existing resources and organizes them in a more effective way. During Phase 1 of the project in the summer and fall of 2019, the planners collected more than 1,000 surveys and held 75 public meetings, including open houses, community meetings and pop-up events.
The Office of Neighborhood Engagement hosted a pre-construction meeting Thursday to inform Central City and Lower Garden District residents about bicycle infrastructure improvements coming to their neighborhoods. Construction on the project on the East Bank began in August 2020, and the Thursday meeting allowed residents to view the proposals for their area. The project will bring bike lanes and street redesigns to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from St. Charles Avenue to South Broad Street, Melpomene Street from St. Charles Avenue to Camp Street, Baronne Street from Calliope to Phillips Street, South Galvez Street from MLK to Erato Street, and South Broad Street from Fourth Street to Thalia Street.
As part the city’s expansive infrastructure repair program, the Office of Neighborhood Engagement hosted a virtual meeting Tuesday to inform Broadmoor residents on street repair and reconstruction work coming to their neighborhood. This particular project is called Broadmoor Group A, and work is slated to begin in November. The cost of the project will be $13.6 million. The project area will be bounded by South Claiborne Avenue, Eve Street and Toledano Street, extending to Nashville Avenue and Jefferson Avenue on the lake side of South Tonti. The work will include some waterline and sewerage line replacements.
New Orleans is embarking on the first week of Phase 1 in reopening the city as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed nearly 500 lives in the city and more than 2,000 deaths statewide. If you use public transit, the city’s recreational facilities or the public library, here’s what you can expect from those agencies during this initial phase. Regional Transit Authority
Beginning Sunday (May 17), the RTA returned to Saturday service on all bus and streetcar routes. The RTA also will go back to collecting fares as part of the Phase 1 reopening of the city. For more information regarding fares, visit www.RTAforward.org/fares-passes.
The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans has begun a complete rehabilitation and upgrade of the Claiborne Avenue Pump Station, which houses four of eight water distribution pumps for the east bank of New Orleans. Due to the pump station’s proximity to Claiborne Avenue, new valves and meters for the station must be installed in the existing right-of-way of the highway. Starting today (Thursday, May 14), the eastbound lanes of Claiborne Avenue will be reduced to two lanes and re-routed onto a temporary roadway built on the neutral ground. Drivers are encouraged to heed all traffic directives, which will remain in place for the duration of the project. The estimated project completion date is July 2022.