NEW ORLEANS — There are dozens of traffic lights nonoperational, blinking red, or in need of repair across New Orleans. There have been countless fender benders and near-misses over the last year, but there is finally some good news from the Department of Public Works.
Thursday, Acting Director Josh Hartley told the Public Works Committee that contracts for each district are awaiting signature.
“All contractors are with the vendors for execution as of yesterday,” Hartley told the committee.
“First name Halle– last name -lujah,” said District E Councilman Oliver Thomas in response to the news.
Hartley said All Star Electric was awarded all five contracts, one for each district, totaling about 1.8 million dollars.
All-Star has offices in LaPlace and Metairie, and had been formerly contracted by the city to do traffic light repairs. There has been about a one-year lapse in having anyone to do the repairs, due to some contract delays, according to city officials.
When we first talked to Hartley earlier this month, he told us DPW staff can’t handle underground repairs or control boxes. For those more complicated fixes, they use contractors like All Star.
Beginning around July 11th, Hartley estimates, All Star can begin repairs on 25 intersections throughout the city, prioritizing main thoroughfares.
One of them is Magazine Street and Poydras, which has been in need of repair since January 12th. That same intersection’s traffic light was also damaged during Hurricane Ida, but the current issue is a control box that needs to be replaced due to age.
For almost six months though, it’s been a dangerous spot for drivers and pedestrians, as many ignore the four-way stop.
For a full list of prioritized intersections, you can take a look at Hartley’s presentation here.