Infrastructure projects underway in Jefferson Parish; some major roadwork nearing completion

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 10:16 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jefferson Parish has millions of dollars in infrastructure projects underway and some work that has impacted drivers and businesses is expected to wrap up soon.

Mark Drewes is the Director of Jefferson Parish’s Department of Public Works.

“Right now, we’re in the midst of our road bond program that the voters passed in 2016, so as of today we have 19 major road and drainage projects under construction,” said Drewes.

And some major thoroughfares are getting a facelift.

“We’re rehabilitating the Causeway Overpass of Airline Drive,” said Drewes.

Severn Avenue which runs next to Lakeside Mall has been under construction for a couple of years.

“Basically, redoing the Severn Corridor from Veterans to West Esplanade,” said Drewes.

Work is underway in the Elmwood area of Jefferson as well.

“We just started Citrus just a couple of weeks ago. We’re going to redo Citrus basically from Dickory all the way to Elmwood Parkway, that’s another road bond project. Roughly it should be done within a year,” said Drewes.

And there is a long-running project on David Drive. “Redoing David Drive from West Napoleon all the way to Veterans,” Drewes stated.

But the roadwork is impacting some businesses.

“It’s been a couple of years, at least. I’m sure once they get it done it’ll be fine, but it is definitely impacting the businesses along here. If my customers can’t get in and out of the shop they’re not going to come here,” said John Selph of Complete Auto Repair on David Drive.

He thinks the roadwork has kept some customers away.

“They’ve put the curbs up finally which took away some of our driveway when they did street widening. When it gets done I assume it’s going to be easier for people to get through but as it is right now it’s definitely impacting our business, probably 30%, 40%, at least,” said Selph.

Drewes says they are cognizant of inconveniences to drivers and businesses.

“We understand the inconvenience and we try to do everything we can to work with the businesses but if the parish is going to stay economically viable and if we’re going to have the quality of life that we need we have to replace our infrastructure, whether it’s our underground utilities or roadways,” he said.

The infrastructure improvements are not confined to the east bank of Jefferson Parish. There is work going on, on the west bank of the parish.

“On Manhattan, we’re widening northbound Manhattan from 9th Street to Gretna Boulevard. We’re wrapping up a project on Ames Boulevard on the west bank,” said Drewes.

And he said the end is in sight for some of the major infrastructure work in the parish.

“The good news is that three of our major projects on the east bank should all be finished in roughly one month and David Drive is one of them. We anticipate that being finished within a month, we anticipate Severn being finished within a month and the Causeway Overpass rehabilitation should also be finished within a month,” said Drewes.

He says like some other local governments, Jefferson Parish has dealt with the effects of the pandemic, inflation, and labor shortages.

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