Tulane Avenue project creates concerns, hope

Tulane Avenue project creates concerns, hope

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Mid-City residents and business owners are sounding off on what they believe are broken promises when it comes to the long-awaited Tulane corridor project.

They are concerned that landscaping, bike racks, and special lighting may not materialize as quickly as they thought. But there may be good news soon.

The ongoing construction project on Tulane Avenue has created a lot of headaches and concerns, but it has also fueled a lot of optimism. Kue Tran opened his Tulane seafood shop just two days ago. It's one of many news businesses lured by the promise of a vastly improved corridor.

"It's because of the upcoming of the city it looks like it has a lot of promise," said Tran.

But he and others are disappointed at word that when the street work is finished, it won't include enhancements like trees, LED lighting and bike racks promised in the initial plan.

"We were very disappointed, knowing how the project was billed as a street-scaping project," said Tim Levy with the Mid-City Business Association.

For more than two years now, the street has been torn up as they cut the road down from six lanes to four and install U-turn lanes, and residents have had high hopes.

"There's so much more that can be done to make this a true gateway to the city," said Levy.

It's not just cosmetic changes to the project that have many upset. Many say they've suffered car damage because of the ongoing construction work.

"The oil pan, I had a hole underneath it was too low, and the suspension system," said Mid-City resident Jorge Burk.

The roadwork will wrap up later this summer. And though there may be a delay on greenery and other enhancements like bike racks and lights, city officials are optimistic.

"It's a process issue and not a resource issue. The landscape will happen," said Councilmember Latoya Cantrell.

Most of the Tulane project is in Cantrell's district. She said the landscaping and lighting plan must be worked out between the state and the city.

"We're hoping to get it all worked out by the end of the month," said Cantrell.

Mid-City business owners will pay close tabs as the transformation continues.

"Tulane Avenue is one of the hottest real estate zones in the region," said Levy.

And all sides hope that an agreement will come soon to finish off a project that's brought with it headaches and high hopes.

"I have patience enough to wait and see the goodness out of it," said Tran.

Bambi Hall with the state transportation department said landscaping is part of the second phase of the Tulane project now being designed by the state and the city. As for new LED lighting and bike racks, it appears as if funding sources have not yet been fully identified, but all sides say they are committed to find them.

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