Project Expected to Support Local Businesses

Mayor LaToya Cantrell today (Monday, Aug. 15) joined other leaders and community stakeholders to celebrate the $5.5M Martin Luther King Jr. (St. Charles – S. Claiborne) Patch Mill Overlay project that will revitalize 14 blocks of a vital corridor in Central City.

Mayor Cantrell also took the opportunity to celebrate the residents and small business owners in the area who will benefit from the work but might feel adverse impacts during the construction period.

“This project is a long time coming, and I know that our residents, as well as business owners in this community, are excited about the improvements,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Without a doubt, I know that this transformation will positively impact our community here in Central City and our businesses that we all depend upon. We also need to ensure that we invest and help them to be the best that they can be for the City of New Orleans.”

The scope of this work will include repaving the road, repairing sidewalks, adding ADA-compliant curb ramps and high-visibility crosswalks and installing protected bike lanes. The project stretches from South Claiborne Avenue to St. Charles Avenue and is on track to be completed by summer 2023. About 80 percent of the construction is funded through the Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Program and administered through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD), with 20 percent coming from local dollars.

“DOTD is proud to continue partnering with the City of New Orleans to improve infrastructure,” said LaDOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “It is important to ensure our community continues to meet the needs of residents by enhancing not only our roadways, but walkability and bicycle access where possible. In 2009, DOTD adopted a complete streets policy with a goal of balancing the mobility, health and safety needs of all users of the transportation system.”

The project is being implemented in coordination with FEMA-funded projects elsewhere in the neighborhood, including Central City Groups A & B. In District B, the Department of Public Works (DPW) currently has 13 active projects in construction valued at $171 million, including:

  • Projects currently in the Bid & Award Phase – eight valued at $34M
  • Completed projects since May 2018 – eight valued at $18M

DPW also is working with other City agencies to deliver a comprehensive project. This includes identifying and repairing damaged streetlights and protecting the street trees during construction. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) 6th District is adding foot patrols to ensure that residents who may have to move their cars from the street during construction can do so safely.

“As a community advocate based in Central City, PlayBuild NOLA’s mission is to transform urban spaces into dynamic play and learning environments to empower kids to design their futures. We are excited about the plan to make Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard a safer space for all of our residents but especially our children who walk and bike on or across the street every day. We also appreciate efforts to keep the community engaged and lifting up our small businesses,” said Angela Kyle, Founder, PlayBuild NOLA; member, New Orleans Complete Streets Coalition.

Since May 2018, the City of New Orleans has completed 134 projects worth $425 million; there are 56 projects under construction with an estimated total value of $604 million.

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