City Provides 2016 End Of Year Update On Infrastructure Improvements

NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Mitch Landrieu and officials from the New Orleans Department of Public Works (DPW) and the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (S&WB) highlighted the City’s 2016 integrated infrastructure accomplishments Wednesday, Dec. 21, at St. Bernard Avenue at Robert E. Lee Boulevard.

         “Improving New Orleans aging infrastructure is a major priority, and in 2016 we had a breakthrough year,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars in major capital infrastructure improvements are hitting our streets that will improve our roads, water and sewer systems in neighborhoods across the city. With all of this work now fully coordinated, we are working harder than ever to build a stronger, more resilient city as we approach New Orleans’ 300th anniversary in 2018.”

         Cedric Grant, executive director of S&WB, said, “We are now positioned to not only repair our aging infrastructure, but also build a more resilient system that can handle the challenges of the future. The work we are doing is unprecedented in our City’s history. We have made great strides this year and look forward to accomplishing even more in 2017 and years to come.”

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         The City secured the final $1.2 billion in recovery funds from FEMA to repair Hurricane Katrina-related damage to New Orleans’ roadways and subsurface infrastructure, including water, sewer and drainage pipes. This brings the total to over $2 billion secured under the Landrieu Administration for roads and subsurface infrastructure, City reps said.

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         The City and S&WB are working together to implement an unprecedented program to restore the City’s damaged infrastructure, City reps said. Using a combination of local and federal funds, this program will be the most comprehensive that the region has seen in a generation. Work will include more than 200 individual projects and consist of repairing all or portions of about 400 miles of roadway. There will be several types of construction: Full Depth Reconstruction; Patch, Mill and Overlay; Patch Concrete; Incidental Road Repairs; Bridges; Non-Paving Incidentals and Streetscapes.

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         This year, the City of New Orleans launched a revamped online tool, allowing residents to search by their address to get block-by-block details on planned, active and completed infrastructure improvements across the city. The website shows ongoing coordination on road, water, sewer and drainage construction by DPW and S&WB. The City will update projects bi-monthly, providing residents with the most accurate view of infrastructure improvements occurring across New Orleans.



Successes Achieved in 2016

         DPW completed a total of 25 roadway projects in 2016, with a total funding investment of over $44 million. Included in these projects were three Paths to Progress projects, four other roadway projects, three streetscape projects, seven bikeway projects and three FEMA-funded Recovery Roads projects. This work resulted in over 15 miles of newly paved streets and an additional 4.48 miles of bikeways.


DPW also completed the following work in 2016:

• Filled over 114,876 potholes;

• Cleaned over 7,000 drainage catch basins and over 76 miles of drain lines;

• Inspected and assessed the condition of over 82 miles of drain lines;

• Installed over 5,100 new permanent traffic signs and over 1,133 new permanent street name signs;

• Repaired over 10,000 streetlight outages (over 99 percent of the city’s streetlights are operational); and

• Installed over 545 LED streetlights (over 42,000 of the City’s streetlights are now LEDs representing 78 percent of the city’s streetlight system).


Looking Forward to 2017

         The City is scheduled to start design on at least 125 projects and begin at least $400 million worth of new construction work by May 1, 2018. Included in these projects are Full Depth Reconstruction, Patch, Mill and Overlay, Patch Concrete, Incidental Road Repairs, Bridges, Non-Paving Incidentals and Streetscapes.


Expanding Bikeways

         Before Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had fewer than five miles of designated bikeways. With a focus on creating a resilient City, New Orleans now has over 100 miles of bikeways, City reps said. The quality, convenience, and choices in bike facilities in New Orleans continue to improve, they said. The City is continuing to work with a broad coalition of partners including the Regional Planning Commission, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Bike Easy, and Entergy to make New Orleans more bicycle friendly.



Successes Achieved in 2016

         S&WB completed over 29,000 work orders and 24,000 service requests in 2016. This includes over 8,100 emergency requests such as sewer overflows and customers without water. The City also passed a drainage renewal millage of 4.46 mills. Proceeds from the drainage millage fund 30 percent of the upkeep and operations of drainage pumps and canals, which keep New Orleans’ streets dry after storms. The drainage millage renewal will last for 30 years.


         S&WB completed the following work in 2016:

• Completely repaired 1,132 sewer mains, 1,092 water mains, 9,043 water service repairs, 682 hydrants and 850 valves;

• S&WB staff performed preventive maintenance by cleaning 781,519 feet of sewer main, inspecting 6,504 sewer manholes, 854,792 feet of sewer main, 1,453 water vales and 4,647 hydrants.


Looking Forward to 2017

         In 2017, the City and the S&WB is scheduled to begin construction on $400 million worth of capital improvements, including a number of important water, sewer and drainage projects. Highlights include: Major improvements to the S&WB’s power generation system, Oak Street Pump Station retrofit, water and sewer system line replacements, water point repairs, a wetlands assimilation projects, sludge dryer project, drainage canal improvements and drainage pumping projects.



         To help find solutions to the City of New Orleans’ long-term infrastructure needs, Mayor Landrieu established a working group comprised of City leaders, residents and subject matter experts charged with developing recommendations about how the City can pay for interior street repairs, City reps said. This group of subject matter experts have expertise in civil engineering, business, construction, finance, banking, transportation and community engagement. In 2016, the Fix My Streets Working group met 5 times and completed an assessment of financing options to address the City’s long-term infrastructure needs.


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