A project to beautify West Esplanade Avenue, one of Metairie’s main thoroughfares, will officially get underway Monday with a groundbreaking ceremony.
Jefferson Parish Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng is spearheading the beautification project, which officials say will cost about $420,000 and should be completed in a little over three months.
The project calls for lighting, landscaping and greenery improvements on West Esplanade between Transcontinental Drive and Orpheum Avenue.
Crews with Hard Rock Construction will install new trees, turf and irrigation at different points along that stretch of West Esplanade, as well as the nearby intersection of Lake Avenue and Old Hammond Highway.
Unsightly open drainage canals have long divided the eastbound and westbound lanes of West Esplanade, with green space restricted to the covered portions of the canal, mostly around U-turns.
The project also calls for new artwork, such as a pair of signs marking the entrances to Bucktown at the intersections of Lake and West Esplanade and Lake and Old Hammond Highway. Artist Aaron P. Hussey is creating the signs.
Lee-Sheng has said she hopes property values along West Esplanade eventually will rise as a result of the project. Tourism money from District 5 is funding the work, parish officials said.
In a separate matter, West Metairie Avenue eastbound will be restricted to one lane at Faun Street for at least two weeks beginning July 27, and to one lane westbound between Harang Avenue and Zinnia Avenue for four days starting at 6:30 a.m. Monday.
The westbound lane closure is necessary to work on a drainage canal bank there. Command Construction is performing the work, which will cost about $4 million and should be done by about 4 p.m. Friday, barring unexpected delays.
Meanwhile, an eastbound lane at West Esplanade and Faun will be closed as crews replace broken street panels there, officials said. Work should be completed by Aug. 10, barring delays.
The company T-N-T is performing the work at a cost of about $46,000, the parish said.