Mayor Landrieu, Councilmember Ramsey, RTA Announce Funding For Canal Street Ferry Pedestrian Bridge
District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey
NEW ORLEANS — On Friday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey announced the city and New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) have identified the funding necessary to move forward with a pedestrian bridge adjacent to the new Canal Street Ferry Terminal. The pedestrian bridge will allow for ferry passengers and other pedestrians to cross New Orleans Public Belt Railroad tracks when a train is passing.
In March of this year, Mayor Landrieu and District C Councilmember Ramsey met with residents and lawmakers, and committed to building a pedestrian bridge. The pedestrian bridge will be located next to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, on property operated by the Audubon Nature Institute, and it will connect to a new bus terminal and the riverfront streetcar as part of the multi-modal hub being constructed by RTA. In May, the City Council authorized the demolition of the old ferry terminal, owned by the State Department of Transportation and Development, but only on the condition that funding be identified for the pedestrian bridge element.
“This is a win-win-win for all involved,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Thanks to the efforts of Councilmember Ramsey, we were able to identify the funding to move this project forward. The old terminal was a complete eyesore. This pedestrian bridge will serve our ferry passengers and ensure that we have the ability to open up our special riverfront to the public. And it will create a multi-modal hub where buses, streetcars and the ferry connect. With our acquisition of the Governor Nicholls and Esplanade Wharves, along with the new ferry terminal and major renovations to the Moonwalk and Spanish Plaza, we will have a completely new riverfront experience in 2018, the 300th anniversary of our city’s founding.”
District C Councilmember Ramsey said, “I’m excited about the pedestrian walkway being added to the ferry terminal project. It’s going to be much better than what’s currently there. I made the decision to move forward with the ferry terminal because it would provide jobs, other economic development and enhance the quality of life for those who depend on the ferry for work and fun. I always have been and always will be committed to doing what is best for the people I serve. I would like to thank the Mayor and RTA for working with me to secure the funds. This development is part of my vision for a better future. This is what progress looks like! It’s a great day for District C and for the rest of the city.”
RTA Chairwoman Sharonda Williams said, “We committed we would work to find the funding, and thanks to Mayor Landrieu, Councilmember Ramsey and our board, we are able to move forward. This new terminal, the new ferries and the pedestrian bridge will be a great improvement for our residents and will create a good connection to other modes of transit.”
The $7.4 million pedestrian bridge is being funded by $5 million in city capital funds, $900,000 in bond proceeds from the New Orleans Building Corporation Canal Street improvements, and $1.4 million in RTA funds. RTA is going to advance 100 percent of the design cost now to get started. Additional funding may be available at a later date from State Capital Outlay funds.
To facilitate construction and a location, the Audubon Nature Institute stepped in to offer help, city reps said.
The $27 million Canal Street Ferry Terminal itself is funded through federal grants, State matching funds, passenger ferry revenue, and capital budget funds from the RTA. The major components of the project include a 5,000 square foot ferry terminal, entrance from Canal Street, connection from the aquarium.
Both projects are anticipated to be complete in 2018.
Demolition of the existing ferry terminal is expected in the coming months.