Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS-- The Army Corps of Engineers and the Orleans Parish Sewerage & Water Board are paying $100 million to build a concrete drainage tunnel under Jefferson Avenue and over $90 million for a drainage tunnel under Napoleon Avenue.

But the work causes frustrating traffic disruptions.

'Bad,' was one driver's reaction. 'Hard, real hard.'

'It's a pain, but I guess it has to be done,' said another. 'It's better than flooding out.'

By the end of May, Prytania will be closed between Jefferson and Nashville for up to a year.

A Sewerage & Water Board spokesman calls these critically needed improvements for a part of town that can flood during torrential downpours.

A corps spokesman said the work is being coordinated with the city and the water board, but enduring the work is nerve wracking for drivers.

'Hectic, definitely hectic, that's for sure,' was one response. 'I haven't been here in about six months, definitely going to try to stay away from this street.'

'Terrible,' said another.

More traffic disruptions are coming, starting Thursday and lasting for a week along the left lane of Carrollton riverbound at South Claiborne, and the eastbound left lane along South Claiborne at Carrollton.

Then a $76 million project is planned to build a drainage tunnel under the Louisiana Avenue neutral ground, but it has been challenged.

The good news if the corps says all the work Uptown should be completed by 2018, and then drainage should improve Uptown when we have those torrential downpours. The bad news is, the work should be completed by 2018.

'No!' was the reaction to that date.

Anyone with questions, who needs information or wants to file a complaint, can call the hotline at 585-2450.

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