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Traffic lights broken at 8 New Orleans intersections, DPW says repairs coming soon

So far, they've repaired 2,148 broken street lights, focusing on high-crime areas and school zones.

NEW ORLEANS — Navigating New Orleans traffic is hard enough, but when the lights go out, it's an accident waiting to happen.

The City has a plan though.

The Department of Public Works laid out its plan to fix the city's broken traffic lights and street lights during a Public Works Commission meeting Wednesday.

So far, they've repaired 2,148 broken street lights, focusing on high-crime areas and school zones. That leaves around 4,000 to go, according to their count.

"We've got some momentum right now," Joe Threat, Deputy CAO for Infrastructure, said. "Things are turning around -- and it's a big ship to turn around -- but we're going to continue to work on it until we've got the satisfaction of the citizens."

As for traffic signals, DPW interim director Sarah McLaughlin Porteus showed a list of eight known outages, presented in the order they'll be fixed.

  • West End @ Veterans
  • Earhart @ Dupre
  • Carondelet @ Julia
  • Napoleon @ Freret
  • Rampart @ Common
  • Magazine @ Felicity
  • Melpomene @ Prytania
  • Loyola @ Julia

As of Wednesday afternoon, repairs at the West End intersection were already complete. Each traffic light could take anywhere from one day to a week to repair, according to Porteus.

To get that done, they've had to pull crews from repairing street lights.

According to Porteus, the DPW put out a contract request for a company to take on traffic-light maintenance in New Orleans last year, but no one made an offer.

So instead, the city is using the contractor doing street light repair to handle traffic lights as well.

"What we're essentially doing now is shifting a crew from doing street light repairs over to help us get a handle on some of the traffic signals that are out," she said.

But Porteus said she's confident the contractor can handle it all and get New Orleans out of the dark.

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