New Orleans drivers will have a bit of an easier commute at the tail end of the summer, with more than $12 million in construction on nine major roads on the east bank of Orleans Parish scheduled to come to an end.
The first of the projects to wrap up will be repairs on Congress Drive between Chef Menteur Highway and Hayne Boulevard. Workers began the $4 million repair and replacement of the roadway in January and will finish work in a few days, said Rick Hathaway, construction manager for HNTB Corp., the firm overseeing the work.
The end of the Congress Drive project will be followed later this month by the conclusion of roadway resurfacing, pavement patching, curb repairs and other construction on Bienville Avenue, South Jefferson Davis Parkway and Banks Street in Mid-City and on Baronne, Burgundy and South Peters streets downtown, Hathaway said.
Repairs on North Galvez Street and Downman Road will wrap up in August.
The projects all are part of Paths to Progress, a $90 million collaborative effort among the city, state and federal government launched in July 2012 to restore and enhance more than 60 roadways in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Paths to Progress succeeded the South Louisiana Submerged Roads Program, a $118 million initiative that repaired 49 miles of roads damaged as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
When the entire program is completed in March, it is expected to have rehabilitated more than 35 miles of road in New Orleans, at a cost of $60 million. About $45 million worth of projects have been completed in New Orleans so far, said Chincie Mouton, public involvement representative for HNTB.
Mouton and Hathaway provided an update on the program Tuesday at a meeting of the City Council’s Public Works Committee.
By the end of summer, Paths to Progress will have about $5 million in work left to do in New Orleans, all in Algiers.
Sidewalk repair will begin in August on Newton Street between Whitney and Behrman avenues and roadway repair on Gen. de Gaulle Drive between Holiday and Woodland drives. The $3 million project is expected to be completed in October.
The $2.3 million repair of MacArthur Boulevard between Gen. de Gaulle and Kabel drives and of Sullen Place between Gen. de Gaulle and Patterson drives will be the final project in the Paths to Progress program. That project will be put out to bid in August. It is expected to be the competed by March.
Paths to Progress will host a public meeting July 22 at the Algiers Regional Library to explain the Algiers projects.