City Announces Napoleon Avenue Roadway Configuration Upon Completion Of SELA Project

NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans Department of Public Works announced the proposed roadway configuration of Napoleon Avenue between South Claiborne Avenue and Constance Street upon completion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project (SELA) scheduled for late 2015.

         The final roadway configuration for Napoleon Avenue will be two ten-foot wide vehicle travel lanes, one five-foot wide dedicated bicycle lane, and one seven-foot wide parking lane in each direction. The neutral ground along Napoleon Avenue will be restored to its original, pre-construction width of forty-seven feet. A six-foot wide paved walking path with historical energy-efficient lighting will also be installed along the Napoleon Avenue neutral ground along with additional landscaping.

         “SELA is a critical infrastructure drainage project that will reduce the threat of flooding to Uptown neighborhoods and an opportunity to improve our public right-of-way,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “After a thorough analysis and careful consideration of public comments regarding the configuration of Napoleon Avenue following SELA’s completion, the City has requested the U.S. Corps of Engineers restore the neutral ground to its original, pre-construction width, maintain two vehicle travel lanes and install permanent striping to support installation of a dedicated bicycle lane and on-street parking lane. This is a win-win-win for area neighborhoods, motorists and cyclists. By working together, we feel confident that this roadway configuration is a reasonable accommodation for all interests. I want to thank the public for providing valuable input throughout out this process.”

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         Public discussion of possible roadway configurations for Napoleon Avenue began this summer. The City created a webpage with detailed information about the Napoleon Avenue roadway configuration and solicited public comment. A total of 1,725 comments were received, with approximately 70 percent in support of the installation of dedicated bicycle lanes along Napoleon Avenue.

         The installation of bicycle lanes on Napoleon Avenue is in full accordance with the City’s Master Plan and Complete Streets Program. Biking is an important mode of transportation in New Orleans that is a healthy, safe and equitable commuting option for residents and visitors. Dedicated bicycle lanes are safer for drivers and cyclists and address social equity by providing low cost, safe routes to and from work and school for residents without access to an automobile. As bicycle ridership increases, the City is committed to expanding our network of bikeways. According to the League of American Bicyclists, New Orleans currently ranks fifth in the nation amongst large cities in the percentage of residents who bike to work. With the completion of the Lafitte Greenway’s bicycle and pedestrian path, New Orleans will have more than 100 miles of bikeways.

         The SELA project on Napoleon Avenue includes excavating the existing roadway and neutral ground and installing large underground drainage canals and large drain lines to improve the capacity of the major drainage system. This project is divided into three phases: Phase I (completed from South Broad Street to South Claiborne Avenue; Phase II (approximately 90 percent complete) from South Claiborne Avenue to Carondelet Street; and Phase III (approximately 61 percent complete) from Carondelet Street to Constance Street. The U.S. Corps of Engineers estimates that the SELA project along Napoleon Avenue will be complete in late 2016.

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         See an image of the proposed Napoleon Avenue roadway configuration here.

         For more information

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