KENNER, La. -- In what's described as the first phase of major redevelopment plans in Kenner, Mayor Mike Yenni unveiled on Thursday the first 10 projects, which target some of Kenner's busiest roadways.
"It's not only the streetscapes, but there's a lot of capital that you don't see," Yenni said.
The nearly $30 million in improvements are part of the Kenner 2030 Initiative, designed to guide the city through the next several decades. Mayor Yenni said the money for these 10 projects will come from refinancing sales tax bonds, at what he said are currently low rates.
"We don't have a lot of debt, and that's how we're able to take advantage of this right now," Yenni said. "So, it doesn't cost -- it's no new taxes to do this, and I will not propose any new taxes."
Among the proposals, replacing the more than 40-year old bridges at the Duncan Canal near the Esplanade Mall. It would also eliminate what is described as a dangerous right-left combination turn lane on Williams Boulevard and replace it with a landscaped neutral ground that has dedicated turn lanes. It is a state road, but Yenni said he spoke to DOTD officials who are on board with the idea.
Officials added that the plans are not just about safety, though: they want to make Kenner more appealing to the eye. One such spot is on Power Boulevard, where they want to put in new landscaping and public artwork.
All of it, though, still requires the Kenner City Council's approval. The issue is expected to come up at their meetings by April.
"It's something we're going to have a lot of debates on," said Kenner City Council President Jeannie Black. "But in speaking with my fellow colleagues, as council president, everybody has the same feeling -- we all want to see this city progress."
For a closer look at the proposals, click here.