NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today was joined by City of New Orleans Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure Joseph Threat, Interim General Superintendent for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO) Ron Spooner and St. Roch Improvement Association Secretary Malcolm Hardiman to celebrate the $5 million, 10-block St. Roch South Group B roadwork Project.
“I am excited to acknowledge the progress that the City of New Orleans is making that will impact generations to come,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “You cannot take for granted the hard work that we are putting into not only getting the resources but also finding partnerships on the design side, as well as the construction side to get this done. In partnership with SWBNO, we continue to make unprecedented investments that we’ve needed for decades which is all a part of our strategic planning. What we do now is going to determine where this city is going to be 50 years from now.”
The scope of work included repaving the asphalt roadway, replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons, installing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curb ramps at intersections and replacing damaged underground water, sewer and drainage lines across City Council Districts C and D. The St. Roch South Group B reconstruction project began in September 2020. The Department of Public Works (DPW) contracted Durr Heavy Construction, LLC, and the project was designed by HNTB Corporation.
“We’ve worked hand in hand with our partners of the SWBNO to make sure we get this work done,” said Threat. “We continue to put contracts out on the street to improve our infrastructure, and once we expend these federal dollars, we will have completed about 10,000 City blocks with another 10,000 to go. The City is actively looking for ways to get additional funding to finish them all.”
The project was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of the City’s Joint Infrastructure Recovery Response (JIRR) Program, in partnership with SWBNO.
“We are always glad to be a partner with DPW under Mayor Cantrell’s leadership,” said Spooner. “We’ve replaced 10 blocks of sewer and water lines that had not been repaired since between 1908 and 1946, which was the age of the system that was replaced. So again, investment in infrastructure is key, and that is what we are doing every day while continuing to utilize public dollars to improve our critical infrastructure, streets and water systems.”
Under the Cantrell Administration, DPW has leveraged funding from the $2 billion FEMA settlement for damages that occurred due to Hurricane Katrina. These federal dollars have been invested in roadway projects in communities across the city to help provide safer travel and alleviate flooding during weather events.
“We often hear the phrase that infrastructure isn’t sexy, but here in our city, it matters,” said Hardiman. “In New Orleans, infrastructure is language. Every time a successful project is completed, local government is communicating that we value this community and that this neighborhood, like so many others, is valuable. It is so special and meaningful to see this work completed while making changes in our city and in our beliefs about what is possible. The investment in this project will have an impact much larger than a well-maintained street. This represents fundamentally good business for the City, its interest and for taxpayers. Roadways are quite literally the connective tissue to each other. Now, folks can more easily get to where they are going. Infrastructure allows our vibrant neighborhoods to thrive.”