Rides to get less bumpy in the Quarter

Posted on: April 3 2012
"...be prepared for disruptions..."

April 3, 2012
By Frank Donze, The Times Picayune

Repairs for eight French Quarter streets are among the highlights of a $90 million program that will allocate federal dollars for improvements to roadways and sidewalks in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish during the next year. The upgrades in the Vieux Carre are scheduled to get under way by summer and be finished in time for the Super Bowl, which the city hosts in February.
segway-royal-street.jpgView full sizeEliot Kamenitz, Times-Picayune archiveRoyal Street in the French Quarter is one of several streets in Orleans and Jefferson parishes that will get resurfacing, pavement patching, new curbs and installation of handicap-accessible ramps.

While the changes ultimately will bring smiles to motorists' faces, officials from both parishes warned that there will be some sacrifice along the way.

"There are always disruptions" including road closures, said Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was joined by Jefferson Parish President John Young and Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni for a Monday news conference on Royal Street.
See list of streets below

"One of the great constituent complaints that we get is the result of a lot of progress being done," Landrieu said. "We expect that it's going to come and we have to triage it in a way that makes sense. And we're all going to coordinate our efforts to make sure there's the least disruption as possible."

The project, dubbed Paths to Progress, is a follow-up to the South Louisiana Submerged Roads Program, which distributed about $118 million to repair and resurface major roadways damaged because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

The Submerged Roads program came to an end last month.

The new allocation represents a collaboration among the state Department of Transportation and Development, the Federal Highway Administration and the Regional Planning Commission.
map-streets-040312.jpgView full size

All told, 65 street segments are in line for repairs, including resurfacing, pavement patching, new curbs and installation of handicap-accessible ramps. About $65 million of the work is earmarked for New Orleans.

The remaining $26 million will go to Jefferson Parish, with Kenner getting the bulk of the money. Of the 23 streets selected in Jefferson Parish, 21 are in Kenner, which did not share in the Submerged Roads dollars.

"What can I say except thank you, thank you and thank you," said Yenni. "The city of Kenner is struggling right now economically... so this type of improvement really helps with the infrastucture of our city."

Outside of Kenner, the two Jefferson Parish streets slated for work are Clearview Parkway in Metairie and Avondale Gardens Road in Avondale on the West Bank.

But the first phase of the street work will be done in New Orleans.

State highway department Secretary Sherri LeBas said the state is scheduled to accept bids by mid-April for sections of Mayo and Morrison roads, Hayne Boulevard and Alvar, Forstall and Tupelo streets. LeBas said community meetings will be held to solicit input from residents and business owners before construction begins.

The French Quarter streets scheduled for repairs are Burgundy, Dauphine, Toulouse, St. Louis, Decatur, North Peters and Royal streets, plus Esplanade Avenue.

City Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer said the federal government determined which Vieux Carre streets were eligible. The sections of the streets that will be repaired were chosen after consultation with residents and businesses throughout the French Quarter Management District.

Work on many of the other New Orleans streets will not be completed until next year.

Almost 94 percent of the $118 million in Submerged Roads money was spent in New Orleans, with the rest in St. Bernard and Jefferson parishes. Landrieu said those projects put more than 2,000 people to work.

"This is testament to the fact that major infrastructure investments equal jobs," he said.

Although some of the streets repaired under the Submerged Roads Program, such as St. Charles and Magazine, sustained little direct damage from Katrina's floodwaters, they were among the primary roads used after the storm for recovery and relief operations, which meant they were damaged by heavy equipment and trucks.

The program's money came from the Emergency Relief Program of the Federal Highway Administration. No state or local match was required.

The same approach was used for the Paths to Progress initiative.



Burgundy Street, Canal to Esplanade

Dauphine Street, Canal to Esplanade

Esplanade Avenue, N. Rampart to N. Peters

Toulouse Street, N. Rampart to Dauphine

Saint Louis Street, N. Rampart to Dauphine

Decatur Street, St. Louis to Dumaine

N. Peters Street, Canal to St. Louis

Royal Street, Canal to Esplanade

Toulouse Street, Dauphine to Decatur

St. Louis Street, Dauphine to Decatur


Forstall, Douglass St. to N. Claiborne

Tupelo Street, Douglass Street to St. Claude Ave.

Alvar, Higgins to Florida, Chef Menteur to Higgins

Hayne Boulevard, Press to Congress

Morrison Road, Lamb to Mayo

Mayo, Hayne to Morrison, Morrison to I-10

St. Bernard Avenue, N. Rampart to Sere

Gentilly Boulevard, Paris to Broad

Robert E. Lee Boulevard, Elysian Fields to Franklin

Franklin Avenue, Filmore to Gentilly

Filmore Street, West End to Canal, Marconi to Wisner

Basin Street, Canal to N. Claiborne

Rampart Street, Iberville to Esplanade, Esplanade to Elysian Fields

Freret Street, Louisiana to Jefferson

Nashville Avenue, S. Claiborne to Fontainebleau, northbound and southbound

Fontainebleau Avenue, Broadway to Nashville

Leonidas Street, Palmetto to Earhart

Broadway, Fountainbleau to Leake

Jefferson Davis, Gravier to Canal

Banks Street, Carrollton to St. Patrick

Bienville Street, Jefferson Davis to Carrollton, northbound and southbound

City Park Avenue, Canal to Orleans

Esplanade Avenue, Moss to N. Claiborne

Congress Street, Hayne to Madrid, Madrid to Chef Mentur


Clearview, Veterans to Kawanee


Avondale Gardens Road, Louisiana 18 to U.S. 90


Loyola Drive, to West Esplanade

31st Street, Duncan Canal to Phoenix, Phoenix St. to Loyola

West Esplanade, Williams to Colorado, Ole Miss to Duncan Canal

Intersection of Loyola and and West Esplanade)

Sal Lentini Drive, Joe Yenni to Vintage

Chateau Boulevard, Vintage to Chateau Dulac

Joe Yenni Drive, Williams to Duncan Canal, Rhine to Sal Lentini, Duncan Canal to Roystonea, Roystonea to Rhine

Intersection of Vintage and Loyola

Vintage Drive, Duncan Canal to Chateau, Chateau to parish line)

Williams Boulevard, Airline to 3rd Street

West Metairie Avenue, Williams to city limit

Roosevelt, Airline to West Metairie, West Metairie to Veterans