NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Construction is officially underway on the North Rampart Streetcar line. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and city and RTA officials broke ground on the project Wednesday afternoon.
The 1.6 mile streetcar line will connect to the Loyola Line and will run from Canal Street to Elysian Fields. Red streetcars are expected to run along the route by the third quarter of 2016. The streetcars will roll in the left lane of traffic, the same way they do on the Loyola and N.Carrollton Streetcar Lines.
Nasr Nance opened Dreamy Weenies, a hotdog restaurant, two years ago. He says the planned streetcar is part of the reason he chose his location along North Rampart.
"I've seen a couple of other restaurants, cafes come to the area, bike shops," Nasr said. "It's good, bike shops bring more pedestrians to the area. Couple more tour groups coming to the park."
Landrieu says the Loyola Streetcar Line helped create $2-billion dollars in development and redevelopment in the downtown area. He believes the North Rampart line will lead to more development on the edge of the French Quarter and into the Bywater.
The RTA plans to eventually run the line all the way to Poland Avenue, but there is not yet funding for further than Elysian Fields.