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A large pothole / small sinkhole is seen in Lakeview along Milne Blvd. at Germain St. in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. The city of New Orleans has launched a revamped roadwork.nola.gov that provides online maps showing street conditions and future street and drainage projects to let residents no the status of repairs.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

In March 2017, New Orleans started work on the first FEMA funded road project.

A perfect storm of conditions has made the roads in New Orleans some of the worst in the nation. Poor soil, high ground water levels, poor surface drainage, leaks from broken utility lines and a history of poor maintenance have long plagued New Orleans 1,500 miles of roads – resulting in potholes and sinking streets from the Garden District to the lakefront.

But Hurricane Katrina exacerbated the problems and accelerated the damage. The floodwaters ate away pavement and washed away soil. A study released in 2016 found that 65 percent of the city’s streets were in poor or worse condition. Last year, the city announced it would start a rebuilding program with $2.5 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It has the outlines of a larger $9 billion program, but it has yet to find a permanent revenue stream to fund the fixes. In the meantime, New Orleans will continue to pay the highest auto insurance rates in the nation.