New Orleans, La. – Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by state and local officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the completion of improvements on General DeGaulle Drive. The event was held this morning at Celebrations Hall, located at 2700 Gen. DeGaulle.
The two projects addressed drainage, capacity and lighting and represent a nearly $30 million investment. Barriere Construction Co. LLC bore the bulk of the work on the drainage portion of the project. The $20.1 million task helped improve drainage along Gen. DeGaulle by replacing pipe at six crossings.
Fenton Excavating & Construction Inc. performed the road work, totaling $6.7 million. The project improved traffic flow by adding turn lanes at major intersections and addressed roadway quality by replacing the street lighting system between Mardi Gras Boulevard and Rue Parc Fontaine. The roadway improvement project was paid for by toll money that had been in an escrow account. The drainage improvement project was paid for by the toll money and a $5.1 million contribution by the Sewerage & Water Board.
“These projects represent toll dollars at work,” said Sec. LeBas. “By utilizing toll funds, we were able to make these much-needed infrastructure improvements now, which will ensure the longevity and quality of the roadway in the future. These projects are important because General DeGaulle is a major artery between Orleans, Jefferson and portions of Plaquemines Parishes, and the safest route out of the city for Westbank residents in case of emergency evacuation.”
The drainage project began in February 2010 and the roadway project was started in July 2011. Both were completed late last month. As the first exit from the Westbank Expressway, Gen. DeGaulle Drive is the primary evacuation route in the event of a hurricane and serves as the entry way to a viable economic development corridor.
Senator David Heitmeier said, “With the completion of this DOTD project, the Algiers community can now effectively use the General DeGaulle corridor to spur economic development in the area,” said Senator David Heitmeier.
"The Gen. DeGaulle Corridor has long been plagued by flooding. Today we celebrate close to $30 million in drainage and roadway improvements and with more improvements to come, we hope this project will finally provide our citizens with a true, dependable evacuation route in cases of emergency,” said State Representative Jeff Arnold. “The new improvements have also served as a catalyst for economic development at Lakewood Country Club and Aurora Shopping Center as well as Federal City."
Algiers Economic Development Foundation President D’Juan Hernandez summed it up stating, “The AEDF is committed to supporting projects that improve the community’s quality of life. By improving infrastructure, we can better facilitate successful partnerships in both the public and private sectors.”
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, the department is able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Custom Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).