Landrieu: Next couple of weeks a 'pain in the neck'

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 11:27 PM

Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
Email: kmoore@wwltv.com | Twitter: @katiecmoore

NEW ORLEANS -- The 2013 Super Bowl is expected to inject more than $400 million into the New Orleans area economy, but the big event is already impacting much more than people’s pocketbooks.

Just about anywhere in the Central Business District you'll hear the simultaneous sound of problems and progress.

Construction and congestion collided on Poydras Street for a rough Monday morning commute.

“Unbelievable. Very congested,” said Belinda Little-Wood about her morning drive.

This is how Bob Spencer described it: “It was arduous. But we took back roads.”

Amy Zapata passed up the Poydras exit off I-10 to try and get around it and got off I-10 at Canal Street instead.

“It took me an hour to get the little block back to Benson Tower. So, it was long,” she said.

“We're about to get into, what I would say is the most difficult couple of weeks for the people of this city,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

U.S. Homeland Security shut down the streets around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome through the Super Bowl.

The Poydras exit off I-10 East will also shut down in the coming weeks.

“We are engaged right now, not only in the most robust recovery in America where we're doing a half a billion dollars in projects in the city, but many of them are concentrated in time and in space in downtown,” Landrieu said.

Poydras was shut down for re-surfacing throughout the day on Monday, and Tulane Avenue was also closed for Streetcar line construction.

It all makes traveling around the CBD time consuming and tough.

“I had clients who tried to get here and it took them a half an hour to get from the interstate to our building,” Spencer said.

“I want to thank them for their patience. I want to remind them that this is what sacrifice looks like,” Landrieu said.

It's something people already understand, but they say it’s still frustrating to handle on a Monday morning.

“You have to kind of go with the flow. We know that these improvements need to be made, with the city as a whole and for the upcoming Super Bowl, so you just kind of have to hang in there and make it work,” Little-Wood said.

The road around the Superdome will be opened for all the New Orleans Hornets home games in the next month. Click here to see a traffic map of it.

 

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