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City Celebrates Completion of $1.2 Million Eastshore Playground Clubhouse Project

City officials recently celebrated the completion of the $1.2 million clubhouse for the Eastshore Playground in the New Orleans East communities of Eastshore and Little Woods.

The only portion of the facility that is “site built” is the community room. The use of the containers allows NORD the ability to completely lock down a particular function and keep others open. It also allows for hurricane resistance because all exposed windows are completely protected when all doors and shutters are in place. The new facility allows interaction between the new building and the existing basketball pavilion with the use of steps and risers (that can be used as seating), and the roofing provides continuous coverage between the two facilities.

 “This bond-funded facility at Eastshore is the first City facility that uses ‘conex’ shipping containers as the basis of the building,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said. “Each container has a different function within including a concession stand, a temperature-controlled storage space, two restrooms with two stalls per restroom, a small break room and ADA-compliant restroom, and an office for on-site staff so we can provide programming and keep the administrative work flowing as we do recreation in our city.”

The Eastshore Clubhouse project is one of several NORD-related infrastructure projects from the Capital Projects Administration. This past summer, officials marked the opening of the $546,000 McCue Playground clubhouse in the St. Roch neighborhood, complete with new concessions, restrooms and other amenities. Also this past summer, officials marked the launch of the $789,000 Citywide Emergency Generators program, which includes critical emergency upgrades at nine NORD centers.

 “This complex is now set to reopen and offer programming for the citizens of New Orleans. We are continuing to rebuild and reopen NORD facilities, and this means that this facility now belongs to the community,” said NORD CEO Larry Barabino, Jr. “And this is when we ask our community leaders to step up. This is when we ask our parents to step up. This is when we ask our coaches to step up. Our work is driven by the community and volunteer leaders. So we ask our residents to come be a part of our NORD volunteer coaching program, because at the end of the day this facility belongs to the community.”

RTA breaks ground on new Canal Street Ferry Terminal 

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority recently held a groundbreaking ceremony on the new Canal Street ferry terminal project. The ceremony kicks off a two-year redevelopment project replacing the existing terminal with a smaller, modern, ADA compliant terminal and bridge. Once completed, the new terminal will connect Audubon Aquarium to Spanish Plaza on the riverfront. Construction is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2022 with no major impacts to current ferry and transit services expected.  

“A project of this magnitude can only be successful with collaboration and a shared vision with the community and civic leaders,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “The RTA Board proudly makes this investment in the new ferry terminal because it will activate the riverfront to improve safety and access for our residents and visitors, drive job creation and small business expansion, and improve the public transit experience for all ferry riders.” 

 The Canal Street ferry terminal project has a total budget of $43.5M and is funded by contributions from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Regional Transit Authority (RTA), City of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The FTA’s 2015 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant program provided $12M for the ferry terminal redevelopment accompanied by an additional $12M in other Federal Transit Administration funding sources. The State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provided the local funding match in the amount of $2M. Additional funding of approximately of $12M is provided through matches from the City of New Orleans and Regional Transit Authority in addition to a $5M land match.  

“RTA’s commitment to building the necessary infrastructure for a world class transit system remains steadfast, said Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO. “The Canal Street ferry terminal redevelopment project will greatly improve accessibility for all riders who rely on ferry service. The agency will continue its focus on providing safe, reliable, and equitable transit services and facilities while innovating transit connectivity for the residents of New Orleans.”  

“It’s an honor to be a part of this great day for all of those who use the ferry service,” Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary, Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., said. “Watching this partnership come to fruition and seeing how it benefits locals and tourists is an example of what teamwork between locals and state officials can accomplish. The ferry terminal is a much-needed addition to the infrastructure and connectivity of this region. It will benefit many citizens for many years.” 

The project will focus on opening the Riverfront and re-envisioning the connectivity between all transit modes to provide safe, reliable connections for riders. With the current terminal beyond its useful life and there no longer being a need for vehicle access on the ferry, the agency has focused on designing a terminal geared towards passenger needs while accommodating the new RTA ferry vessels, RTA1 and RTA2. The new ferry terminal and pedestrian bridge will focus on providing better and safer accessibility to riders with limited mobility. The improved facility design will provide access to the terminal from above the railroad and streetcar tracks which run along the riverfront. 

“We have made equitable transportation a top priority in this administration, and we cannot have equitable transportation without solid infrastructure at its foundation. We are excited to see the progress being made at the Canal Street Ferry Terminal in this two-year redevelopment project that will allow us to more efficiently move our residents between the Downtown and Algiers, and with minimal interruption to service while the work is getting done,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.