NEW ORLEANS – One of the more heavily-traveled areas in the city of New Orleans is completely shut down to traffic and for the next few months those who travel the area intersected by Canal Street, City Park Avenue and Canal Boulevard will have to find another way around.
The area is closed for an expansion of the streetcar line.
While they have known about the shut down for a while, some motorists were hit with reality Monday.
Some vehicles were seen making unexpected turnarounds to get themselves out of the situation while Carrollton Avenue toward the Uptown area saw heavier traffic than normal as vehicle made the way to I-10 on Tulane Avenue.
One of those was a woman named Leslie, who said she goes through the intersection to see and check in on family.
“I haven’t figured out if there’s an emergency, how I’m supposed to get to Metairie Road in a timely manner,” she said.
“There will be no thru traffic,” said Patrice Bell Mercadel, the RTA Public Information Officer. “No thru traffic coming through Canal Street beyond N. Anthony. No thru coming from City Park Avenue beyond Bienville Street, and no thru traffic coming from Canal Blvd. toward downtown beyond Rosedale Street.”
Prior to the lines being laid for the streetcar, crews were trimming trees, setting up fences and dismantling lines and traffic lights.
Kevin Korson, who works for a limousine service that operates nearby says he knows the project will add minutes to his commute.
“Our office is two blocks away and we have 60 vehicles,” he said. “This is our gas station we use and that’s our quickest access.”
“It’s going to suck for a while, but it’s needed, I think,” offered Steve Rabalais.
If you are looking for an alternate route to get to the highway, the most popular detour seemed to be traveling uptown on Carrollton Avenue to Tulane Avenue where you can take a right and go a little more than a block to the on-ramp to I-10.
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The project should be completed by Thanksgiving.
“I think that they’re trying to open up the roads a little bit more,” said Rebecca Arnold of New Orleans. “In the long run, it’s going to work out.”