$32M Lake Forest Manor Development Project Begins in New Orleans East

City leaders, other elected officials and community partners recently gathered to celebrate the beginning of work on a $32 million redevelopment of Lake Forest Manor to bring it back to its original use, as a 200-unit senior living facility in New Orleans East.

“The City of New Orleans and the Cantrell Administration overwhelmingly made affordable housing a top priority since Day One — committed to creating affordable housing across our entire city. But while doing it, also understanding that every fabric of our city is different, the needs of every neighborhood are different, and for New Orleans East, we want affordable housing but we want it in the form of senior housing but also in the form of home ownership for families in our city,” said Mayor Cantrell.

The City provided a $1.5 million community development block grant to the developer in collaboration with the Housing Authority of New Orleans.

State Rep. Jason Hughes, District 100, joined  Mayor Cantrell and District E Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen at the ground breaking ceremony.

 “Our aging population is so vital to our culture and community, and they deserve quality housing,” Councilwoman Nguyen said. “I am so excited to be a part of this groundbreaking, where we can announce that on Oct. 31, 2021, construction will be completed, and we can welcome seniors to their new home in District E — Lake Forest Manor.” 

 The project is in keeping with several efforts by Mayor Cantrell to fight for affordable housing for the City’s residents, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Mayor Cantrell also reaffirmed her commitment to improving District E, including New Orleans East. This includes housing, economic opportunity and infrastructure. Including projects currently under construction, the Department of Public Works has 40 projects valued at $211 million planned for District E. Twelve projects valued at $80 million are currently under construction, while there are 11 completed projects valued at $36 million — since May of 2018.

City Officials Break Ground on Lake Vista Roadwork

Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently joined other officials to mark the start of the $2.8 million roadwork project that will improve 15 blocks in the Lake Vista neighborhood.

“We must continue to roll out our critical infrastructure projects while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure we improve our streets for hurricane season and beyond. We are encouraged by the pace of this critical work we are doing throughout 2020. Between maintenance projects and the Joint Infrastructure Program, we currently have 47 DPW projects under construction valued at nearly $306 million, so we are seeing real results,” said Mayor Cantrell. “I want to thank the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans for being a partner on this project, whose budget includes $540,000 from SWBNO.”

Between now and the end of 2020, the City is forecasting nearly $600 million worth of joint Infrastructure Program projects going out to bid.

“The Cantrell administration is committed to continuing our infrastructure work across the city,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure. “In District D alone, we’ve completed six projects since May 2018 valued at $20.6 million. And today, there are seven projects under construction valued at $58.4 million, including the $2.8 million Lake Vista Group A Project with another $317 million in planned work coming down the pipeline.”

DPW began construction on the Lake Vista Group A project in May 2020. Construction on this patch mill/overlay and incidental road repairs project is designed to repave the roadway from curb-to-curb.

At least 15 blocks in the Lake Vista neighborhood will be completely revamped at the FEMA-funded project’s expected completion in fall 2021. Other work in the Lake Vista neighborhood includes a total of five more projects valued at $30 million.

St. Claude Ave. Bridge Lane Restrictions Scheduled through November

Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, through November 2020, vehicular traffic on the St. Claude Avenue Bridge will be restricted to one lane in each direction for bridge repairs. The two outer lanes in each direction will remain open, while the two innermost lanes will be closed.

These lane restrictions are needed for structural and mechanical bridge repairs that cannot be performed while the bridge is operational for maritime traffic, therefore, this work has been scheduled to coincide with separate U.S. Army Corps of Engineers repairs of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock, which will close the bridge to marine traffic. The bridge will remain in the down position starting on Sept. 5.

In addition to the long-term inner lane closures, the outer lanes of the St. Claude Avenue Bridge will also be closed periodically for a short duration of no more than 15 minutes at a time to ensure the safety of workers and motorists during certain bridge repair activities.

No closures of the sidewalks or nearby bus stops are anticipated at this time.

RTA Receives $13.9M Federal Grant for Transit Vehicles

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) recently announced a $13.9 million grant award from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Buses and Bus Facilities Program to purchase 21 replacement buses, 21 replacement paratransit vehicles, and maintenance equipment which will help preserve the life of the existing fleet. The federal funding positions the RTA to improve the rider experience and improve the reliability of transit service. The new vehicles are expected to be enter service next fiscal year.

“Since joining the RTA, we have aggressively pursued federal funding to proactively address the RTA’s aging and deteriorating fleets and facilities which never fully recovered from Hurricane Katrina,” said Alex Wiggins, CEO, New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.  This grant award will bring us one huge step forward in improving the rider experience, the safety of operators and passengers, and the reliability of our transit service.”

“This grant award is particularly important as we approach the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which resulted in the complete devastation of the RTA bus fleet and critical transit vehicles—a loss the RTA has never fully recovered,” Flozell Daniels Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners.  “By leveraging our limited local financial resources to obtain federal funding, this grant award helps the RTA Board of Commissioners make good on our pledge to rebuild our transit fleet and provide high-quality transit service to New Orleans residents and workforce.”

The $13.9 million grant award is in addition to the $43.8 million in CARES ACT funding, the $5.3 million in FTA funding to rehabilitate the car landing at the Lower Algiers Ferry Terminal and the $300,000 FTA award to fund the MOVE East NOLA pilot program awarded to the RTA in 2020.

The Federal Transit Administration’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program provided grants to 96 projects in 49 states around the country to help improve the safety and reliability of transit bus service nationwide.

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