NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “It’s almost like driving into another city you know when you’re approaching this area now,” said Alfred Green, a longtime New Orleans East resident.
Green was referring to the busiest roadway in and out of the City, specifically a three-mile stretch of I-10 in Eastern New Orleans from the Morrison interchange, past Read Boulevard.
He recalled the day he first noticed something was different along the Interstate when out of the blue, the roadway was well-lit.
For Green and other motorists, a well-lit Interstate is a whole new world, because, for years when the sun went down, it was as if someone turned a light switch off along some stretches.
In the latest project, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development de-energized the lighting to replace the entire lighting infrastructure, on the ramps and within the median at Morrison Rd. and at Read Blvd.
“Those two projects started two years ago. It was going to be a full upgrade of the lighting, including removal of all the existing conduit, light poles, fixtures, ballasts, hardware,” DOTD’s Scott Boyle explained.
The Assistant District Administrator of Operations for DOTD said the project funded by the state and federal government also includes high mast lighting at the major exits. “We put the large poles, the stadium type lighting to provide additional illumination. In between those interchanges, you have your normal, standard roadway lighting,” Boyle said.
“I get personally a sense of security now.. safety I should say, you know for my wife and I, and you know people we know traveling through here every day now,” Green said.
This couldn’t come fast enough for Green, who’s reached out to the FOX 8 Defenders for years, fighting to get the Interstate 10 lights fixed.
In our first interview with him six years ago we learned the City was working to improve lights, but City officials told us the infrastructure in spots had failed, and in some cases, vandals had stolen the copper wiring.
Fast forward to DOTD’s total rehabilitation of the system and Boyle expects it’ll be long-lasting with LED lights that he says not only lower bills but should last seven to 10 years. Boyle explained ultimately, it’s the City of New Orleans' responsibility to maintain those lights as they go out.
While the majority of the project is online, Boyle said starting next month, DOTD will begin similar work on the Crowder interchange, which will link the other two projects and essentially complete that entire corridor.
If you’ve got a consumer issue, call the FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women, the NCJW, or fill out our online complaint form.
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