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Uptown construction a headache for residents & businesses

Freret Street Freret Street

New Orleans-- Road re-paving and drainage work seems to be taking over parts of Uptown. Some residents and business owners say while they appreciate the repairs, it has become quite a headache.

Orange cones and no parking signs are primarily what you see along Freret Street between Jefferson and Napoleon. But what isn't as visible is the frustration many people there feel.

"It's really difficult to get here. I had to go a roundabout way to get to Freret Street. It's a big inconvenience," said Tiffany Julian.

Street repairs began this summer and now the road is being re-paved, which could last up to two months. Traffic is limited to one way and business owner Mike Casey says there's been a lot of confusion about parking. "They just towed one of my cook's cars. There's not a whole lot of clarity as to what's available, what's not. We did get clarity that you can park on Freret Street after 5:00, but there's no signs that say that," Casey explained.

Freret isn't the only street Uptown being repaired. Fontainenbleau is also being re-paved, limiting traffic on that street. And on Jefferson Avenue near Tchoupitoulas, a portion of the street is closed for two months for drainage work. All along Jefferson, from St. Charles to Magazine, the neutral ground is torn up and residents are having trouble finding parking. Some are looking for spots on side streets, while others tell us they're sharing driveways. They say they've been told the work will last a few years.

"It's a big headache and an inconvenience. I think short term no problem, I'm just concerned about the medium and long term," said Uptown resident Ben Banta. "Construction as we all know, usually takes much longer than they say it will so I'm very concerned this is going to run into 2017 or 2018." 

Resident Kathy Glaser says she can't understand the timing of the projects....why so many areas Uptown seem to be under construction at the same time. Glaser says, "It makes it very hard to travel about in the city when so many of the streets we use, all of them, are being affected at the same time so that's the difficult part."

Despite the headaches, the residents and business owners we spoke to all acknowledge the work being done is in the best interest of the city. Mike Casey agrees, saying, "In six months, when this is all behind us, it'll be the best thing that ever happened but again living the day to day, it's been a challenge."

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