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NOLA gets grant to study possible teardown of I-10 over Claiborne

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City Hall gets $2 million to study Claiborne Avenue, possible teardown of elevated I-10
Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune

Mayor Mitch Landrieu created a buzz this summer when he told urban planners who were meeting in New Orleans that he's willing to consider tearing down the elevated stretch of Interstate 10 through downtown New Orleans.

"It could be a game-changer. It could reconnect two of the city's most historic neighborhoods," Landrieu told a gathering of the Urban Land Institute, an industry think tank that has played a key role in city planning since Hurricane Katrina.

"I'm not saying I'm for it, " he said. "I'm just saying it's worth thinking about."

The Landrieu administration stepped up its stake in the controversial concept today when it accepted a $2 million planning grant that will finance a comprehensive study of the Claiborne Avenue corridor, according to City Hall news release.

The city's grant proposal, submitted in cooperation with about  three dozen community groups, focuses on areas between Napoleon and Elysian Fields avenues, including the portion under the elevated I-10, and those that run through Hollygrove and the Lower 9th Ward.

"The future of New Orleans lies in improving our quality of life," the mayor said in a prepared statement. "This grant will guide strategic integrated investments in housing, transportation and land-use planning to realize the full potential in neighborhoods along the Claiborne Corridor.

"Further, the grant will give us the opportunity to evaluate the future of the Claiborne/elevated I-10 expressway," he said.

The money will come from the federal departments of transportation and housing and urban development.

Construction in the 1960s of the elevated interstate, particularly the stretch that towers over North Claiborne Avenue, has been blamed for cleaving a wide swath of once-thriving residential and commercial communities and forcing scores of businesses owned by African-American entrepreneurs to shut down.

Amid looming maintenance expenses and a new national focus on urban renewal, experts have suggested removing the Claiborne Expressway from the Pontchartrain Expressway to Elysian Fields Avenue. Traffic would be diverted on surface streets or along Interstate 610.

The proposal is part of New Orleans' new master plan, a dense document designed to spell out planning priorities for the next two decades.

For reference, we've had past discussions on the concept of deconstructing I-10 along from a couple months ago in the Louisiana thread, and another from early 2009.

Let me guess; John Norquist is going to come down and give them a ton of money, and the City will tell everybody it'll work.

 :-P :pan: :banghead:

And then Bobby Jindal and the masses of folk on the Westbank and those who rely on the Claiborne Elevated for their commute will respond and shut him down.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: BAD, BAD IDEA.

If you're going to do that, you might as well reroute I-10 down I-1-12, downgrade the Westbank Expressway back down to expressway standards, and just dump I-49 South. Unless, the people of Treme and those who are backing this monstrosity realy do want their surface streets chocked to death by all that traffic from downtown.

Just spend the money and upgrade the Claiborne Elevated, and use CSS design and traditional neighborhood grants to revive the community.

I'd love to see Norquist come to Alexandria or Shreveport and make the claim that I-49 through these communities needs to be ripped down due to "developmemt"  He wouldn't get past the first paragreph.


Anthony: as was discussed ad-nauseum in the other threads, this is possible.  But some other just-as-big transportation projects would have to be done first.


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