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NEW ORLEANS - There is a special meeting Wednesday for an update on the long planned Reinventing the Crescent project that is designed to transform the Mississippi riverfront in the Bywater area.

New Orleans has always had a special connection with the Mississippi River. But for many years it was hard for those who live in the city to actually see the Big Muddy, because the banks of the river have been lined with a series of piers and warehouses.

The $26 million project is designed to change the view.

Reinventing the Crescent re-opens a stretch of the river to the public.

In phase one, called Crescent Park, a one and a half mile stretch of the riverbank between Elysian Fields and Poland Streets in the Bywater will be transformed from docks into public space.

It includes 20 acres of landscaping, with bike paths, playgrounds, dog runs, and allows people across New Orleans a chance to enjoy scenic vistas of the giant river that rushes right through the heart of the city.

The last public update on the project was in August. There were those in favor, and those with concerns about the impact on surrounding neighborhoods.

'There's a lot of new people, and it's a chance to really invent things,' said David Rebeck of Piety Street Snowball,

'I live on Marigny Street between Chartres and Royal, and parking is always an issue,' said Tim Montgomery, a Bywater resident.

Council member Kristin Palmer and the city's Office of Neighborhood Engagement will host an update on the project with the designers and team members on hand to answer questions.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Cafe Istanbul at 2372 St. Claude Avenue.

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