NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Construction projects near the levees in New Orleans that were put on hold due to high water levels are resuming, but the city said the work will be paused again soon.
One of the projects is the Bourbon Phase Two Project, part of the city’s project to improve drainage, upgrade the sewer system and smooth out the pavement and sidewalks. Ramsay Green, deputy chief administrative officer of infrastructure, said they recently got approval from the Army Corps to get back to work.
“River goes high, and we basically shut down until late May. Got a waiver from the Army Corps of Engineers, started back up,” Green said.
The fenced off construction goes right up to storefronts, and some businesses said they’re taking a hit. Chuck Kee is the manager of Bourbon Pub Parade and said they have noticed a decline.
“It’s affected our business very drastically. I mean, it’s slowed us down, especially daytime, because people don’t want to walk down those little alleyways, and so it has affected our business very greatly,” Kee said.
According to the city, construction will pause for Southern Decadence, to the relief of Kee and others.
"It looks like they're getting ready to pour cement. Hopefully, before Decadence comes up, because that's one of our busiest holidays," Kee said.
Green said the construction will not be an issue for the event, which draws huge crowds to the French Quarter every year.
"The big news is that for Southern Decadence, we are completely demobilizing by the end of the day on August 28, shut down, people won't even know there's been a construction project going on, and then we restart up after the labor day weekend on September third," Green said.
Residents along the block, especially with disabilities, said it’s become cumbersome to get through the narrow sidewalks.
"We live there. We've got to get groceries, we've got to get my husband to the doctor's office, we've got to get guests into the guest house, and I've got a good friend coming tonight. I don't know know where the heck to tell her to come," Chuck Schroeder said.
Schroeder also runs a guest house that he said he’s had to shut down due to the construction.
“How can you tell a guest to hear the rat tat tat every morning, and the screaming and yelling that goes on with the workers out there? So it’s not been positive for the business," Schroeder said. “For the most part, August has been a dead month for us, and I hope September will be a little bit better.”
City officials said they expect phase two of Bourbon Street construction to be completed by end of September.