New Orleans Streetcar Work Heading Toward Saenger Theatre

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Half of a major downtown New Orleans intersection will soon be closed for about a month to prepare for the installation of new streetcar tracks.

         The city's downtown streetcar construction will veer into the intersection of Canal and North Rampart streets, starting on July 12 and continuing until Aug. 11, New Orleans CityBusiness’ Lance Traweek reports.

         During that time, Rampart Street between Canal and Iberville streets will be shut down entirely. Traffic on Canal Street between Liberty and Burgundy streets will be decreased from three lanes to one lane before reopening. Access to the Saenger Theatre and nearby businesses will remain open and available to pedestrians.

         Martin Pospisil, program manager for Transdev, which is managing the New Orleans Transit Authority, said the temporary inconvenience is essential for the installation of tracks. The tracks will allow streetcars to go toward the end of Canal Street or veer to the right and continue along Loyola Avenue.

         "We hope the community and tourists will bear with us," he said. "Any construction is an inconvenience but this is progress for the city."

         Pospisil said the $40 million, 1.6-mile streetcar line will revive the city's renowned form of transit in the area.

         "It's exciting to be bringing streetcars back where it used to be many years ago," he said. "The entire corridor will be beautiful once it's finished."

         Pospisil said the 30-day construction timeline is much quicker compared to the installation on the Loyola Avenue route, which took four months.




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