NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined City Councilmembers, City Officials, and community stakeholders to break ground on the $9.1 million Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path. Stretching 2.6 miles, the Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path will be a multi-use trail and linear park connecting six historic neighborhoods from the French Quarter to Bayou St. John and Mid-City. The Lafitte Greenway corridor is bounded by Basin Street, Lafitte Street, St. Louis Street, and North Alexander Street. Before being converted to a railroad right-of-way, the corridor was the site of the Carondelet Canal, which brought ships from Lake Pontchartrain and Bayou St. John to the historic French Quarter.
“The Lafitte Greenway is an important, transformational project that will help spur community revitalization in the heart of New Orleans,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said. “This City-sponsored and funded project will convert a former industrial railway into a recreational green space that will promote healthy lifestyles and serve as an asset for the entire city. As one of my administration’s committed capital projects, the Lafitte Greenway project is another sign of the city we are working every day to build.”
The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path will include a 12-foot wide asphalt path for bicyclists and pedestrians, new recreation fields and green space, landscaping improvements including over 500 trees, native meadows, rain gardens, trail lighting, storm water retention features, curb extensions, signal-enhanced high visibility crosswalks, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at sidewalk corners, environmental remediation, and a crushed stone walking path. A bicycle/ pedestrian roundabout will link the Lafitte Greenway with the Jefferson Davis Parkway and Wisner Bike Trails.
The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path will connect to bikeways in the French Quarter and Central Business District via the Basin Street/ Loyola Avenue bikeway. It also crosses existing and future bikeways on North Galvez Street, North Broad Street, and North Jefferson Davis Parkway. Currently, improvements are underway to the North Jefferson Davis Parkway portion of the nine mile Uptown-Lake Route which will connect users between Uptown and Lake Pontchartrain along the new Nashville Avenue bike lanes, to the Jefferson Davis Parkway path, across the Lafitte Greenway, to the Wisner Trail, and ultimately to Lake Pontchartrain. There are currently 82 miles of bikeways in New Orleans. Before Hurricane Katrina, there were only 5 miles. By the end of 2014, there will be more than 100 miles of designated bikeways in New Orleans.
City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson said, “This is a fabulous undertaking of providing green space and connecting neighborhoods. Kudos to the visionaries, the stakeholders, City Administration and Council leadership that made this happen!”
Councilmember-at-Large Stacy Head said, “Today we celebrate the beginning of construction of the Lafitte Greenway, and we also celebrate the many years of work done prior to today by the Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee, the Friends of Lafitte Corridor, BikeEasy, and many other neighbors, citizens, planners, architects and other visionary leaders who saw this wonderful space as an opportunity and who have helped to make it a reality. I pledge my continued support for the Greenway as it expands its programming and amenities, and to the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. I extend my congratulations to the Administration and all those involved in this success story.”
District A Councilmember Susan Guidry said, “This is a great day for the residents of District “A” and the City of New Orleans! Prior to being elected to represent Council District “A,” I learned of the efforts being made to create a linear urban green space in the heart of the City of New Orleans. Once elected, the Lafitte Greenway became my top priority project. The Lafitte Greenway will provide recreation space for our children and families to enjoy, to experience the outdoors and to engage in healthy activities in a safe and open environment. I applaud the Administration and the many groups and individuals who have participated in the many public meetings on creating the design of the greenway. This public amenity will benefit the citizens of New Orleans for generations to come and will be an asset to the neighborhoods it passes through.”
District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, “Today’s groundbreaking marks another example of a strong, grassroots, community-based project that became a priority for the Administration. As a public space, the greenway offers an incredible opportunity to connect people and neighborhoods from the heart of downtown to the lakefront. I am thrilled that the greenway is accessible and sustainable in its design. It will be here for our families and children to enjoy for years to come.”
The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path is part of the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan which was developed by the New Orleans City Planning Commission in conjunction with the Department of Public Works. The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path was designed by Design Workshop and is being constructed by Durr Heavy Construction. Funding for this $9.1 million project comes from Disaster Community Development Block Grants and Louisiana Recreational Trails Grants. Construction of the Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path is anticipated to be complete in spring 2015.
Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant said, “The Lafitte Greenway project has been highly anticipated for many years and was designed with extensive input from neighborhood and civic groups. More than just green space, it will be another important multi-modal transportation option and serve as an important gathering place for the community. The revitalization of this corridor will encourage further redevelopment.”
Pat Forbes, Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Community Development said, “The Lafitte Greenway will provide a wonderful recreation area for the community. It will also contribute to the City’s resilience by increasing drainage capacity during heavy rainfalls and providing alternative transportation routes. This is a great investment for the people of New Orleans and the state.”
For more information about the Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, please visit: www.nola.gov/dpw/projects/lafitte-greenway/.