Mayor, city leaders tout plan to ‘turbo charge’ riverfront

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NEW ORLEANS - City officials announced a comprehensive plan today that they say will “turbo charge” the land along the Mississippi River.

In a press conference at the Moonwalk, a stretch of public space named after former New Orleans Mayor Maurice “Moon” Landrieu, who was in attendance, current Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the new effort will revitalize a large stretch of the city.

“We have a wonderful announcement today of a transformative project for the City of New Orleans,” Mitch Landrieu said.

During his tenure in the 1970s, Moon Landrieu spearheaded a process of opening up the river and redeveloping the “modern French Quarter as you know it,” Mitch Landrieu said.

A 3.2 mile stretch of riverfront property will be opened up and connected to create a contiguous space for all visitors of the city, with space for new restaurants and vendors along the way.

RTA services in the form of buses, streetcars, and ferries will connect Audubon Park to the end of Crescent Park, which opened in 2015, making it easier than ever for people to move along the city's historic waterfront.

“Over the next two and a half years, the New Orleans riverfront is going to be remade, expanded, and turbo charged,” Mitch Landrieu said. “There are seven major projects, each of which are distinct in their own right, but each, when put together, will be the largest recreation of the riverfront that we have seen in the last 50 years.”

The projects, including a $7.5 million renovation of Spanish Plaza, the $400 million investment by the Four Seasons to revitalize the World Trade Center, and the creation of a $37 million state-of-the-art ferry terminal are among the projects that are either under way or will start soon, Mitch Landrieu said.

A $7.3 million pedestrian bridge at the site of the new ferry terminal, $6 million of improvements at Woldenberg Riverfront Park, $3 million of improvements to the Moonwalk, a $15 million conversion of the Esplanade and Governor Nicholls Street Wharves, and the $31.2 million Crescent Park project will complete the revamp.

“What we’re going to do today is the next step in opening up the river for the future of the City of New Orleans,” he said.