City: Napoleon construction to bring Carnival changes, but won't shift parade route

City: Napoleon construction to bring Carnival changes, but won't shift parade route

For months, neighbors have voiced similar complaints over ongoing construction along Napoleon Avenue.

"There's noise all times of the day. There's dust in the air. People have to breathe this," said resident Noah Bennett.

Bennett and others will face new challenges during the upcoming Carnival season. The massive Army Corps drainage project now stretches into the typically busy Napoleon Avenue stretch of the popular Uptown parade route.

According to the city, parades will still roll down Napoleon, although the neutral ground will be fenced off and closed.

"There are trailers set up right here where we watch the parades," Bennet said, pointing the work zone in front of his home.

Wandell Smith said it eliminates a large family-friendly parade route stretch.

"It's a very nice area, especially to bring the kids out, do the Mardi Gras thing," he said.

The project's aim, however, is to bring much-needed drainage relief for the many homes and businesses throughout the neighborhood – a point not lost on Superior Seafood General Manager John Michael Rowland.

"It is very important for the city and we understand that, and it's only going to improve the city and bring more commerce in the long run," he said.

While Rowland does expect a few headaches, he said the situation may actually boost crowds at the restaurant, which sits on the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon.

"It could benefit us, because all those people who may have stood on the other side, the neutral ground side, maybe they'll roll over the sidewalk side, and enjoy Mardi Gras from this view," Rowland said.

Folks we talked with said they're relieved the parade route will not shift away from Napoleon, but some will have to adjust their parade-watching routine.

"It's a big thing, you know. There are families here that have been here forever. That's their tradition," Bennett said. "They've got people coming in from all over the world to visit and now you've got this."

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