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Bourbon construction causes business trouble

NEW ORLEANS - One of our most famous streets is under construction for  much needed improvements.

The Department of Public Works closed the intersection of Bourbon and Dumaine to add new utilities.

Some find the construction good. Some find it bad. Some find it frustrating. "Construction was something that was desperately needed for years" business owner, Earl Bernhardt told WGNO. "Bourbon street got to where it really smelled bad because of the broken sewer pipes down underneath the ground."

Earl owns of five clubs on Bourbon street. He says he's happy that work is being done on the famous tourist spot but the street upgrades have cost him a pretty penny.

"It really had a financial impact on our businesses because when the fences were up, people would look and they won't come down to our businesses."

Out of all Earl's properties, the construction had the worst impact on his club, Funky Pirate. So much of an impact, they decided to close it for several days out of the week.

James Robinson, on the other hand, says the street work has brought footsteps through the business he works for.

"Well, a lot of people, they change directions thinking that a lot of the establishments are closed" The Bourbon Heat employee said. "I think that it helped up out because of them being right there with the road closed sign people stopped and then that will help us to be able to, you know, ask them to come in where we are."

Despite the money it's cost Earl, he says, he understands why the process has taken longer than he anticipated.

"When they start to dig down because of the river level, the hole fills up with water and they can't work. So, they've had a lot of problems that they've had to overcome as well as once they got down there, they discovered things they weren't aware that, you know, that needed to be fixed and it was quite a job."

The project costs an estimated 9.5 million dollars. City leaders have not told us why the construction has taken so long.

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