Uptown residents upset over disappearing neutral ground

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Carnival plans of some might be in jeopardy once drainage construction is complete Uptown.

"When I realized that they were going to take 10 feet off the neutral ground on Napoleon Avenue, I was furious. We've been through three years of torture," Angele Dassel said.

On Thursday, Uptown residents got a glimpse of life after the construction that's lasted for years. Dassel said the plans she saw before did not include shrinking the amount of neutral ground space.

"They're taking away where we go for Mardi Gras, what we do and the enjoyment that we have looking out of our windows and seeing our beautiful neutral ground," she said.

The Army Corps of Engineers says the neutral ground is shrinking by 9 feet to make room for two bike paths on Napoleon Avenue. It's all a part of the city's complete streets project. The completed street will have two lanes of traffic, a bike path and a parking lane in each direction.

"We certainly understand the neutral ground, especially on Napoleon Avenue, is a huge part of the city," Corps spokesperson Lori Wingate said.

Wingate says the upgrades are expected to bring more people to the area and not just for Carnival season.

"(We're) kind of looking toward the future as far as transportation and getting people to and from either work or your friends house or workout or where you want to go safely it adds another avenue for transportation," she said.

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