Freret streetscape project extended

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on December 6, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 6 at 11:45 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall


NEW ORLEANS -- The Freret Streetscape Project has been plagued with mishaps and extended deadlines. and now businesses and residents have learned crews will need more time.

The announcement isn't sitting well for those organizing events, including a new night market and Saturday's 5K race.

"We've been able to weather most storms and deal with it," Freret Market Director Gregory Ensslen said.

Friday night, the parking lot where Freret's Night Market planned to make its debut sat empty as the dreary weather forced Ensslen to rain check the event.

"We've talked about this years ago and we finally decided to add the night market and we're about to launch today and we had some pretty serious weather," Ensslen said.

It's one of many hiccups this Uptown business corridor continues to feel, including on-going streetscape construction. Crews are repaving the road as well as replacing and repairing corner bump-outs before installing install bike racks and iron trash cans along the street.

"This is take two, if not take three," said New Freret board member Kellie Grengs.

The project is a do-over from 2012 construction which missed the mark.

"It's disruptive, but it's a short-term inconvenience for what's really a long-term gain and long-term benefit for everyone on Freret and Uptown who uses our streets," said Ensslen.

Still, disruption and extensions are hurting local business, according to Grengs.

"The construction has definitely delayed some of the progress with how successful the businesses are," Grengs said. "A lot of the businesses are struggling. They've only been open for one year."

With the latest construction deadline pushed back, those living and working in the area hope it won't impact the Freret Street Festival in the spring.

"Unfortunately, the last contractor promised us the moon and delivered nothing," Grengs said. "People were tripping over things and construction barriers. We really hope they're going to hustle."

The city says crews are expected to pause over the holidays  before returning in the new year. The final phase of the project is expected to wrap up in mid-March.

To read more about the project visit our coverage partner Uptownmessenger.com.

Print
Email
|