NEW ORLEANS -- The city of New Orleans is ringing in the new year by tackling dozens of roadway and street enhancement projects.
The city's list of 2013 improvements will include $200 million in repairs to Hurricane Katrina-related damages.
Drivers all too familiar with the massive potholes and unpaved roads in the Lower Ninth Ward know when to slow down.
"It's been a mess. As you can see I drive a black car. It's hard to keep it clean with the roads being this way," said Lower Ninth Ward resident Thomika Cunningham.
Every day, Cunningham is forced to navigate around the craters outside her house. She says a trouble spot on Deslonde Street has gotten worse in the last year and a half.
But change, according to the city of New Orleans, is finally coming.
"You're going to see a lot of changes and a lot of construction activity in 2013 and beyond as part of the recovery roads program," said Mark Jernigan, director of Public Works for the city of New Orleans.
Starting this year, Cunningham's street is one of dozens that will benefit from $200 million in FEMA funding.
"That program is intended to repair Katrina-related damage city wide. So we've got work going on in 72 neighborhoods," said Jernigan.
The city of New Orleans says 2013 will also pave the way for 71 Roadway and Street enhancement projects totaling $61-million. They'll include road repaving, traffic signal and signage improvements, sidewalks, and dedicated bikeways.
Additionally, 14 streetscape projects are expected to be completed this year, totaling about $13-million.
Paving a street that's been untouched since Katrina is an improvement that one Lower Ninth Ward resident looks forward to seeing happen in the near future.
"It's a great sign of progress, and as you can see more homes are coming back. It's just waiting for our neighbors to come home, and us working together as a community," said Cunningham.
The city of New Orleans says 47 additional projects will also kick off this year connected to various parks, community centers, one library along with fire and police stations. Those improvements will total $186 million.