Business impact of Uptown drainage projects prompts lawsuit - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Business impact of Uptown drainage projects prompts lawsuit

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The New Orleans City Council conducted a hearing Tuesday to address problems related to massive construction projects Uptown. And while several agencies said they've tried to minimize the impact, many business owners said they can't take it much longer.

Amidst the oaks and architecture, the major drainage projects have become a part of the Uptown landscape.

"Almost any route you take, you run into construction - even the side streets," said resident Chuck Collins.

Thanks to $1 billion from the Army Corps of Engineers, much of Magazine, Prytania and Napoleon are construction zones that many shoppers want to avoid.

"Clearly we don't have as much foot traffic as before, which has been a bummer," said business owner Kay Charbonnet.

Nearly a dozen Uptown home and business owners have filed a lawsuit trying to recoup lost revenue, and Charbonnet could join in. An attorney for one of the owners said all of them have suffered significant losses.

"If they do this through next holiday season, we will have to find another location," Charbonnet said.

The City Council's Economic Development Committee met to discuss ways to minimize the blow.

"The goals of this partnership is to raise the visibility of businesses affected by things like the SELA project," said Charlotte Gill, with the Stay Local business alliance.

But many say those and other efforts aren't enough.

"There was talk about extending parking, and Christmas lights, but that didn't happen," Charbonnet said.

Four of six major Uptown projects, will wrap up by year's end, but others will continue.

"Construction won't be slowing down. We will live with it for many years, but this is good," said Councilman Jason Williams.

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