City officials cut the ribbon on completed Central City roadway project

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Mayor's Office photo

Mayor LaToya Cantrell marks the completion of the Central City Group A road project on Thursday.

City and officials gathered in Central City on Thursday (Sept. 31) to mark the completion of a road construction project.

The $10.8 million 15-block Central City Group A Roadway Project began in September 2020 with an exploratory excavation. At the time, city officials said the construction costs would total $9.1 million and the work would be completed in the fall of 2021.

The scope of work included replacing damaged underground water and drainage lines; repaving the roadway; replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons; and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections. The roadway has been re-surfaced with concrete and asphalt, and repairs were made to any damaged curbs, sidewalks and driveway aprons.

The project was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a part of the city’s Joint Infrastructure Recovery Response Program, in partnership with Sewerage & Water Board, whose portion of the work is valued at $3 million.

“As we continue to make sure that we are adapting to the changing climate, we are putting these unprecedented federal dollars to work,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said during the ceremony. “The city of New Orleans is putting its best foot forward in doing these major infrastructure improvements, which we have some of the most happening in the country right now.”

A Barriere Construction crew begins drain and sewer work in Central City in 2020.

In District B, there have been 39 roadwork projects completed, worth an estimated value of $125 million, since May 2018, according to a Mayor’s Office press release. Another 16 roadwork projects are currently under construction, estimated at $227 million.

Current projects include the $4.8 million MLK Boulevard roadwork project that stretches from South Claiborne Avenue to St. Charles Avenue. An additional 56 roadwork projects are planned with an estimated value of $310 million.

“Central City is a neighborhood that is near and dear to my heart, and as a fellow neighbor, I have experienced both delays and progress with these infrastructure projects,” said District B Councilmember Lesli Harris. “I am optimistic with seeing the progress that has been made, as the work that was done in these 15 blocks is a step forward for New Orleans and a win for the Central City community.”

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure Joseph Threat said that about 10,000 city blocks will be repaired once the FEMA-funded Joint Infrastructure Recovery Response Program is completed.

“We’ve got a lot of work left to do, but we have come a long way,” Threat said. “The ribbon cuttings on these projects give me a sense of accomplishment. Our workers have been coming out here in the heat every day to ensure the job gets done.”

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