NEW ORLEANS -- There's good news for at least part of Bourbon Street. Construction on the 100 block is done, which means it's now entirely open to cars, people and any other traffic.
There's always reason to celebrate when you're in New Orleans.
"I'm here for my bachelor party," said Michael Marsh.
"We're on our honeymoon," said Chad Holmes standing next to his bride. "We got married last Saturday."
However, on the 100 block of Bourbon Street excitement is at an all-time high, because it was the first Friday since April that it hasn't been a construction zone.
"It looks great, clean, smooth, very smooth no potholes," said visitor, Will Dunn.
"If you looked a couple of months or weeks ago it's night and day," said Red Fish Manager, Adam Rahn. "It's such an important and vital block to the city being at the foot of Bourbon and Canal."
For restaurants in that area, it's been about five months of delays, noise and frustration, but looking at the finished product, Rahn says it was well worth the wait.
"It was an event that needed to happen," he said. "It's been a number of years since we've improved a lot of things underneath the street and above it as well. The street looks great. The street is paved nicely and they just put the street lights up yesterday, I think, so it's well lit and the sidewalks look much improved. It's a great sight to see. There are people out and about, there are people on the sidewalks, there are cars passing by and it's a breath of fresh air."
Between the 200 and 400 blocks it's a different story.
"It makes it hard to see across the street," said Holmes. "That's what makes it difficult because you can't get across."
"It's complete and total pandemonium," Marsh described. "There are saws going off, there are sparks flying everywhere and it's loud. You have to plug your ears."
That part of phase one is expected to be done by December. And while inconvenient for some, visitors say it won't stop them from having a good time.
"Celebrate the fact that we're in New Orleans!" Dunn said. "If it pays off and lasts 100 years, good for the city, state and people ... Hopefully it's done by Mardi Gras."
After phase one is done, the goal is to start phase two by May of 2018 (which includes the 500-to-800 blocks). It hasn't been announced yet what the end date of the entire project is expected to be.
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