NEW ORLEANS – The intersection of Canal Street, Canal Boulevard and City Park Avenue officially reopened to drivers on Monday afternoon, following a project by the RTA to create a streetcar and bus terminal at the location.
The combined streetcar and bus terminal is now on Canal Boulevard north of City Park Avenue with an extension of the Canal Streetcar tracks through City Park Avenue. RTA says the finished project will allow for safer and easier connections.
In the past, the area was difficult to navigate with lack of signals for pedestrians, riders and commuters crossing multiple lanes of traffic.
RTA spokeswoman Candice Marti said the crews' dedication to finish the project on time is greatly appreciated.
"As you know we had some weather events and things that had happened so we were able to make it on time, crews worked through the weekend so we're thrilled," Marti said.
Drivers were excited about the reopening after about four months of detours.
"I can go home without a nightmare and going through people's neighborhoods, front yards, sidewalks, stuff like that," driver Paul Wabnig said.
It is also a relief to those who work in the area, like Herb Import Company manager, Bryce Larkins.
"It's been quite a challenge," Larkins said.
Larkins couldn't help but smile as crews hauled away the closure signs.
"I just saw money flowing back down the street and I couldn't be happier. It's a big weight off my shoulders. We've all been on eggshells through this knowing that we were at the mercy of people continuing to want to come here and thankfully they did," Larkins said.
The intersection officially opened at 3 p.m. on Monday to drivers, however RTA streetcar and transit services will remain on current detour patterns through early January for operation testing and training along the new tracks connecting Canal Street with Canal Boulevard. During the testing period, the 47-Cemeteries Streetcar line will continue to stop at Carrollton Avenue and be replaced with a shuttle bus that will circulate from Canal and Carrollton to Carrollton and Orleans and Canal Street and St. Patrick Street.