Drainage Work Leaves Streetcar Service Only At Ends Of Line

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drainage work has New Orleans' historic streetcars rolling only at each end of the St. Charles Ave. line, with buses carrying passengers in the middle. During part of the summer, only one end will have streetcars.

         The work will block the streetcar for about one-third to one-half of the 6.6-mile line, The New Orleans Advocate’s Bruce Eggler reports.

         The Army Corps of Engineers is digging huge new underground drainage canals along Jefferson, Napoleon and Louisiana avenues. All three cross St. Charles Ave.

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         The work has caused detours and congestion on the three streets, and disrupted water service for some nearby residents and businesses.

         Many tourists ride the streetcars.

         Replacing wooden ties that separate the tracks caused similar interruptions from 2011 until mid-2014, hurting many tourist-driven businesses along St. Charles Ave. Tourists either did not take the St. Charles line at all or else decided not to proceed farther Uptown when told they would have to switch to a bus.

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         The Regional Transit Authority said that from Sunday through July 11, streetcars will operate between Canal Street and Erato Street, the downriver portion of the line, and between Webster Street and South Claiborne Avenue, the upriver portion. In between, a "bus bridge" will get riders from one streetcar to the other.

         Between July 12 and Aug. 8, streetcars will operate only on the upriver portion. Buses will carry passengers along the rest of the line, and will run from Canal to South Claiborne in case riders don't want to have to transfer at Webster.

         From Aug. 9 to Sept. 5, both ends of the line will operate, with buses operating in the middle section between Erato and Webster.

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