Vehicles will not be able to cross North Rampart Street at Esplanade Avenue for five to six weeks as crews install tracks for the new Rampart-St. Claude Avenue streetcar line.
The installation comes a year into the project and is the second time a major intersection has been closed. Crews shut down the Rampart-Canal Street intersection for several weeks last year.
When complete, the Regional Transit Authority’s new streetcar line will run from Canal to Elysian Fields Avenue.
While the intersection is closed, traffic on Esplanade, including the Jackson-Esplanade bus line, will be rerouted to U-turns that have been opened on North Rampart.
For lakebound drivers, that means taking a right on Rampart and turning around at St. Bernard Avenue to get back to Esplanade. Riverbound drivers will take a right on Rampart and U-turn at Gov. Nicholls Street.
One lane of traffic in each direction on Rampart will remain open during construction.
Last January, officials estimated it would take 18 months to complete the streetcar line. The work is now projected to extend into the third quarter of this year, though the first test vehicles may start running as early as June or July.
Significant steps remain before the project is completed, including underground utility work between Canal Street and St. Peter Street; track installation from Canal to Orleans Street; installation of a new power substation; installations of new light poles, traffic signals and overhead lines; and landscaping and paving of the street.