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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

NEWORLEANS-- Detour signs are popping up across Uptown as crews for the Army Corps of Engineers work on a massive interior drainage and flood protection project.

Signs just went up on Carrollton Avenue near Claiborne Avenue. Next week, the northbound lanes will shift to the left at the intersection.

'When you get to the intersection, it widens to three lanes,' said Army Corps Project Manager Lori Wingate. 'Well, that's going to be reduced to two until you get past the intersection. We just want people to be aware of where to go, correctly and safely.'

The intersection is expected to be torn up for the next year. Drivers are trying to be patient.

'I think it will probably be better for traffic when they get this done,' one driver said.

Another said you really need to follow the signs.

'I have to make the loop and come right back around. It's a problem. But, we can deal with it.'

Meanwhile, crews are installing new traffic lights at Jefferson and St. Charles avenues. Downtown-bound vehicles will soon have to cross the neutral ground at Octavia.

'On Jefferson Avenue, what the contractor is getting ready to do is begin their canal construction in the St. Charles Avenue travel lanes, south of the neutral ground,' said Wingate. 'In order to do that, we need to get the traffic off. You'll have two lane traffic north of the neutral ground for about two to three blocks.'

The nearby Jewish Community Center sent out an email blast letting members know about the construction.

'Members, especially elderly members who need to come to the front entrance of the JCC, where our handicapped entrance is, can enter the JCC by coming Jefferson Avenue and taking a right on St. Charles,' said JCC Executive Director Leslie Fischman. 'There will be an opening for JCC members to drop off in the front circle. We'll probably use this for rainy day car pools as well for our nursery school.'

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, when you're sitting in you vehicle, steamed because you hit one of these traffic nightmares, keep in mind when it's all over with you're going to have better drainage, brand new sewer and water line and a freshly paved roadway.

'Hopefully, this short-term inconvenience will produce long-term benefits,' said Wingate.

Fischman also hopes the gain will be worth the pain.

'The Big Easy is not going to be so easy the next couple of months driving down St. Charles Avenue, but normal life will return one day and it will all be for the better,' she said.

Also Uptown, the Orleans Parish Sewerage &Water Board is reminding drivers that Prytania between Jefferson Avenue and Joseph Street will be closed for one year beginning next Tuesday.

Crews will be installing a new 12-inch water main along Jefferson.

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