NEW ORLEANS – Bourbon Street is a mess. Fences line the street, sidewalks are closed and orange cones are everywhere.
Construction started in the 100 block of Bourbon Streeton April 24. The original plan was for each block, 100-800, to be renovated about 75 days after construction started. In the 100 block though, it’s already been four months of work.
“It’s a real tough animal to deal with from the City’s standpoint for all of us, Mark Wilson, the general manager of the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, said
The 100 block of Bourbon Street isn’t the only one with issues. The 200, 300 and 400 block all have their own issues and businesses are feeling it.
“This is very slow for us, very slow,” said Robbie Orgeron, General Manager at Felix’s restaurant.
The city of New Orleans holds meeting every other week to update people on the construction project, but the information they’ve been giving out keeps changing.
For the first block of the project, the expected completion date was originally June 29, then Aug. 5, then mid-August, then Aug. 23. Construction in that block is still going on.
“It’s frustrating,” Orgeron said. “There’s not much else you can do at this point, but laugh. We’re at their mercy.”
The City says construction crews are running into unforeseen issues under ground and weather is putting them behind schedule.
The project is also over budget and will now have to be finished in two phases – more than doubling the cost. The $6 million project is now expected to cost more than $13 million.
"I think their focus is to get it right and not have to go back and do it again. Do it quickly, do it right," said Steve Pettus, Bourbon House business partner.
"Stick to your time frame. If you're going to tell us a certain date then it needs to be done," said Orgeron.