NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Tulane University wants to take over four blocks surrounding their Uptown campus, that’s so they can take the reigns on long-awaited road and drainage projects.

The Uptown streets that surround Tulane’s campus already have drainage and parking congestion issues, but with a new proposal Tulane is hoping that will them in control it will ultimately benefit the neighborhood.

“I feel Tulane has the right to do construction that would benefit the University,” Ben Grivas, Tulane student said.

Grivas, who lives by campus feels progress in the neighborhood could be beneficial.

“New Orleans has a lot of issues involving the roads and congestion, caused by constant construction, but I think it is something we have to work with to improve the city in the long run,” Grivas said.

Tulane is asking the City for control of four blocks including Audubon Street between Willow, and Plum, Zimpel and Freret Streets. Tulane’s goal is to fix and maintain these streets.

“Roads aren’t perfect, it would come down to what plans they have in place,” Finn Council, Tulane student said.

Some neighbors feel the construction could add more parking and congestion woes, but students say they’d adjust.

“I would definitely say it is somewhat congested. I’m fortunate to have a driveway, but when I do have to park on the street, I have to park a block or a block and a half away. It is manageable, nothing terrible,” Council said.

In a statement from Tulane University, they say: “We are in the very early stages of exploring the possibility of long term leases with the city that would allow us to improve and maintain small portions of streets that are interior to our campuses. None of these areas would be closed to the public. The streets Uptown would continue to be open to vehicle traffic. Our goal is to make ongoing surface and drainage improvements so that these streets are more accessible.”

“I’d say as long as the construction goes smoothly and doesn’t take too long, then there won’t be any issues, but obviously if construction is badly run then it could be an issue,” Grivas said.

They are also asking the City to gain control of a section of South Liberty Street near their downtown campus.

Tulane said in a statement, “We hope to convert a section of South Liberty Street, which is primarily used by Tulane delivery vehicles servicing the School of Medicine and adjacent research labs, into a pedestrian throughway as part of larger enhancements planned in the $600 million expansion and revitalization of our downtown campus.”

The City Planning Commission will make their final recommendations to City Council, and the Council will have the final say.

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