City and community leaders along with representative from FEMA came together on Tuesday (Dec. 14) to kick-off of a $7.2 million Lower Ninth Ward Northwest Group D roadway project.

The new construction is mostly funded with money from Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) and spans 17 square blocks which includes 6,000 linear feet of roadway. 

“This major roadway and drainage project is tied to our joint infrastructure work with the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board and the Department of Public Works,” said Mayor Cantrell. “These are critical investments that we’re seeing in our community and throughout the city of New Orleans, that will shape our city for generations to come. We are doing unprecedented work, putting us in the right place at the right time to effectively leverage federal infrastructure dollars and our largest bond sale in history, with a capital projects investment of over $370 million that will be moving forward with more to come.” 

This groundbreaking ceremony follows the recent signing of the historic $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) by President Joe Biden. The State anticipates receiving roughly $5.8 billion from the IIJA funding, with a portion expected to assist in financing major infrastructure projects and roadway repairs in New Orleans.

“Throughout the last few years, we have continued to make critical investments in our horizontal infrastructure that will shape the future of our city,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure. “Since May 2018, we have completed 98 roadwork projects with an estimated value of $271 million. Here in the Lower Ninth Ward, there are a total of $105 million in FEMA-funded projects that are either completed, under construction, in bid and award or in final design for this neighborhood. Two projects have already been completed, and five are now under construction. Crews began the $7.2 million Lower Ninth Ward Northwest Group D project in October and, when completed, will lead to 17 fully reconstructed blocks and an overall improved quality of life for residents.”

The total project cost was broken down into $6.5 million from FEMA, as well as an additional $517,000 from the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans.

“We serve the people of New Orleans and we are committed to continuing to work with the City to ensure that we are improving the quality of life for all our residents,” said Ghassan Korban, Executive Director, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. “While we understand there are short-term inconveniences ahead, we know that our utility replacements will be a long-term win for our customers. I can’t thank Mayor Cantrell enough for her leadership.” 

This reconstruction project will repair and replace sewerage, water, and drainage lines; rebuild and repave roadways; replace damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons; and install Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections.

“This groundbreaking is long awaited in the Lower 9th Ward. The residents have been patient and more than deserving of the $7.2 million that’s allocated for roads, streets and drainage,” said Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen. “This project will have a phenomenal impact on the redevelopment of this community.” 

This project is expected to be completed by the Summer of 2022.

“I am excited for the start of this project. This change will be an improvement to local infrastructure, encourage other revitalization projects and help stimulate economic development,” said Representative Candice Newell, District 99. “This project will have a long-lasting impact on the Lower Ninth Ward for years to come.” 

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