Bourbon St. construction delays cut some business revenue nearly in half; 2 close

Bourbon St. construction delays cut some business revenue nearly in half; 2 close

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Thursday, construction crews worked on the drainage and repaving project along Bourbon Street that is months behind schedule, and for some businesses the constant delays and construction in front of their doors have forced them out.

"We all expected it to be difficult for a bit, but not this long," French Quarter Business League President Alex Fein said. "Some of this construction started in middle of July, and it's not going to be finished until December and that's just a lot longer. We were told a month and a half two months tops, and we are going on three, four, five, months."

Two businesses, one in the 200 block and another in the 300 block, shut down because doing business alongside construction just wasn't profitable, according to Fein.

New Orleans leaders said significant rain delays, unforeseen site conditions and the overall complexity of the project led to the completion date being pushed back.

"[Owners are] very concerned about business right now. They're throwing out numbers of 40 percent down from start of construction until now, and it's going to take a lot longer to finish what they've started," Fein said.

One Bourbon Street business owner did not want to go on camera because she felt there would be repercussions from the city, but she said just to keep two of her businesses open the landlord had to reduce the rent.

"Property taxes in the French Quarter and Bourbon Street are definitely not cheap, probably some of the highest in the city, and that combined with a troubling crime problem and security issue - we just feel like we've kind of been left out high and dry," Fein said. "Owners are definitely concerned about it being finished when they say it's going to be finished. It's terrible for businesses in that zone, and they're just ready for it to be over."

The Department of Public Works updates the progress of the project here.

Construction along the 500-800 blocks of Bourbon Street is expected to start May 2018.

With less than half of the project complete, the $6 million budgeted for the project have already been spent.

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