NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Mayor LaToya Cantrell, city officials and community stakeholders broke ground Monday marking the beginning of a major project that beautify 14-block of vital corridor in Central City. The work will ultimately impact small business owners in a positive way.

$5.5 million will be used for the Martin Luther King Jr. Patch Mill Overlay project on streets running from St. Charles to S. Claiborne. The work includes:

  • Repaving the road
  • Repairing sidewalks
  • Adding ADA-compliant curb ramps
  • High-visibility crosswalks and installing protected bike lanes

The city of New Orleans says that about 80% of the construction funds came from the Federal Highway Administration Surface Transportation Program and was distributed through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. 20% came from local dollars.

“This project is a long time coming, and I know that our residents, as well as business owners in this community, are excited about the improvements,” said Mayor Cantrell. “Without a doubt, I know that this transformation will positively impact our community here in Central City and our businesses that we all depend upon. We also need to ensure that we invest and help them to be the best that they can be for the City of New Orleans.”

City officials say that since May 2018, the City of New Orleans has completed 134 projects worth $425 million with an additional 56 projects under construction costing an estimated total value of $604 million. The construction is being done in coordination with FEMA-funded projects being done around the neighborhood.

District B’s Department of Public Works, is working 13 active construction projects running a value of

$171 million, including:

  • Projects currently in the Bid & Award Phase – eight valued at $34M
  • Completed projects since May 2018 – eight valued at $18M

The Department of Public Works is in the process of doing more work around the city including finding and repairing broken street lights and protecting street trees during the construction work. The NOPD is adding foot patrol to make sure residents that have to relocate their vehicle during the work, can do so safely.

“I want to thank Mayor Cantrell for her leadership, our residents and small business owners for their patience, as well as our project team as we move forward to complete this work in a timely, safe and efficient manner,” said Joseph Threat, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Resilience Officer. “We will continue to coordinate with our other nearby FEMA projects, as well as with the residents and businesses throughout construction.”

Mayor Cantrell says the the project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023.