Elevating the interstate should be part of New Orleans disaster preparedness

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We’ve seen an incredible amount of construction projects take place in and around New Orleans since Katrina hit nearly 8 years ago.  Over $14 billion in levee and flood wall construction alone.  Infrastructure projects that have long been neglected are now finally getting built.

New Orleans, in many ways, is finally catching up to where it’s supposed to be as if it were run like a real city the last half century or so.  We are finally catching up to speed, catching up to other U.S. cities, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

Our sewerage and water system still needs billions in upgrades and repairs, City Hall needs to be replaced, and crime is still our biggest problem.

One thing that’s mysteriously missing from the “upgraded” New Orleans list is an elevated interstate system throughout the metro area.  Yesterday’s downpour obviously flooded some city streets, but also it put our interstate under water in different places at times.

One of the biggest oversights in our city post-Katrina was our leaders not demanding the federally funded interstate system be elevated throughout our area.  Our major evacuation routes can easily be compromised by flood waters, potentially trapping individuals in the exact spot they don’t want to be.

Before, even during, and of course after a hurricane, or in yesterday’s case, a downpour, the interstate system must remain functioning.  The ball was dropped, and who knows if it might be too late, but elevating the interstate system in Metro New Orleans is a must.  We don’t need to wait for the next Katrina to realize that.  Any summer deluge lets us know quite clearly.