Sewer line work a smelly nuisance for Magazine Street businesses

Sewer line work causes some pain for Uptown shoppers

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A blocked road and an awful smell greeted shoppers on Magazine Street on Wednesday, thanks to a sewer line break.

The emergency repair was unplanned, but get ready. There are many more repairs in other parts of the city scheduled in the week ahead.

"I see a lot of this work." said New Orleans resident Ray Calamari. And when asked if he was tired of it? "Of course I am."

The sewer line broke under the riverside sidewalk outside the Nile restaurant, causing a stinky mess and forcing shoppers to dodge the puddle.

"We had to buy some incense, to make it more comfortable for our shoppers to enjoy," said Aleesha Marie Gambrell, of Goorin Bros. hats.

"It's the restaurant's pipe. All that grease they've been running in there," said contractor Willie Magee.

Contractors for the Sewerage and Water Board worked to replace the line in the midst of holiday traffic.
"I'm not going to lie, with this being the day before some of the busiest shopping season, I was nervous it would affect my business for the day," Gambrell said.

This particular job was unplanned, but the water board has many planned repairs next week, as they try and fix the city's crumbling infrastructure. Beginning Monday, there work scheduled in four locations. Residents on sections of Elysian Fields Avenue, Spain Street, Robert E. Lee Boulevard and Maid Marion Drive can expect low water pressure for up to eight hours a day.

"I feel this happens frequently," Gambrell said. "I live at Washington and Dryades, they have dug up the ground three times. They pave, and dig it up again. Seems a little inefficient to me."

With major construction work already underway on Louisiana, Napoleon and Jefferson avenues, the new work could make traveling about the city more inconvenient.

Shop owners hope the Magazine Street work wraps up soon.

"I'm sure they're great guys, but get out of here," said Gambrell of the workers.

A spokeswoman for the Sewerage and Water Board said they are aggressively moving forward with work to improve the city's infrastructure, and they said they are working to minimize the inconvenience.

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