NEW ORLEANS - Temporary barriers have become a common sight on Bourbon Street during special events like Mardi Gras, French Quarter Fest, and the Bayou Classic, but now permanent bollards are being installed.
The retractable bollards have already been stalled on the 100 and 200 blocks of Bourbon Street, and they'll be installed on the 300 and 400 blocks over the weekend.
This is all a part of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s $40 million public safety package across the city, which he announced back in January.
This is one of the projects to pedestrianize Bourbon Street, protecting it from terrorist attacks and traffic dangers. The mayor talked to a team of experts, community leaders, and looked at other cities’ security measures. He decided putting the permanent bollards in place was the best plan of action.
"What we have seen I think in Nice — what we saw unfortunately several weeks ago in New York -- vehicle attacks. [They're] becoming all to common across the country, but also across the world and, as a result, cities are taking protective action to mitigate against that sort of risk where it's necessary. We see large concentrations of pedestrians in the French Quarter specifically on Bourbon Street — it offers what we believe is an iconic or symbolic target — so, we want to make sure we are hardening structure where appropriate," Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Aaron Miller said.
This project started in April, replacing drainage and sewer lines, repairing electric lines, repaving roads. It’s an overall infrastructure upgrade on Bourbon Street.
This project for the 100 to 400 blocks should be done by the end of the year.
The full street should be back open for 2018. But then construction begins again on the 500 to 800 blocks in late April, so, a lot of renovations and changes are in store for the French Quarter.