Rampart, St. Claude streetcar line work to begin _lowres

Rampart streetcar line graphic

Work on the North Rampart streetcar line will pick up Tuesday after a lawsuit and the threat of a restraining order delayed the project by a week.

Crews will close off the inside lanes of traffic on North Rampart Street in both directions from Orleans Avenue to St. Philip Street, according to the Regional Transit Authority.

Work on that section of the line is expected to take between 45 days and 60 days, the RTA said. After that, crews will move to a different section of the 1.6-mile route, which runs along North Rampart and St. Claude Avenue from Canal Street to Elysian Fields Avenue.

However, because the neutral ground between Orleans and St. Philip is being used as a staging area for construction materials, the intersections at St. Ann and Dumaine streets will remain closed until the project is completed in late 2016, according to the RTA.

Entergy also is working on underground utilities at the Barracks Street intersection, a process that is expected to take up to four more weeks. That intersection will reopen when that work is complete.

Work on the streetcar line officially began last week, but it was shut down almost immediately after a group of activists filed a federal lawsuit claiming the RTA should have to conduct archaeological and environmental studies before beginning construction on the project.

Officials gave the green light to restart the work after a federal judge decided not to issue an order halting the project while the lawsuit plays out in court.

To succeed in their case, the plaintiffs would have to show that the project is funded with federal money.

The RTA and several federal agencies have said the $41.5 million price tag for the project comes entirely from local funds.

They noted last week that the federal government repeatedly denied requests to provide money for the line.

The RTA has set up a hotline at (504) 577-2668 for residents with questions or concerns about the project.