Babylon, Chaos, Muses reign _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- People jam against the fence of the contraction site along Napoleon Avenue as the Krewe of Muses parades Uptown on Feb. 4, 2016. 

Napoleon Avenue paradegoers can get their “Neutral Ground Side” T-shirts out of mothballs for 2017's Carnival season. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all major construction on the avenue will be complete before the first parades roll.

“The project is scheduled to be complete early next year and the neutral ground will be available for paradegoers to stand on for Mardi Gras 2017!” said a celebratory post on the Facebook page for the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project.

More specifically, all major construction on Napoleon Avenue will be finished by the time the first Uptown parade, the Krewe of Oshun, rolls at 6 p.m. Feb. 17, according to Corps spokesman Ricky Boyett’s office.

Sod will be in place on the entire length of the Napoleon Avenue neutral ground, no areas will be fenced off and no holes will remain open in the ground because construction on the underground box culvert already is finished.

If any work on the avenue is still unfinished by that point, it will be minor items like individual curb or sidewalk repairs, Boyett’s office said.

Landscaping of the entire Napoleon Avenue neutral ground is then scheduled for the fall planting season in 2017, officials have said.

The Corps also posted a video showing a look inside the completed culvert on Napoleon Avenue.

The end of Napoleon Avenue construction early next year will follow the completion this fall of the “Phase 2” portion of the Jefferson Avenue work, which included the area roughly between St. Charles Avenue and Magazine Street, plus the Prytania Street leg.

The only remaining portions of the massive project will be Jefferson Avenue “Phase 1,” which is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017, and Louisiana Avenue, which should be finished by the end of 2018.

Follow Gordon Russell on Twitter, @GordonRussell1.