In My Opinion: Construction is vital to New Orleans… just not all at once


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New Orleans is well known for its aging infrastructure from crooked sidewalks, potholes in the streets and construction that can block off an entire road.

I have been commuting to Loyola for the past year — since I’ve been a junior — and I have hated every single instance where I have had to detour my route to school because of construction.

One sign of progress for the city’s infrastructure has been Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s commitment to fixing the aging streets in New Orleans during his term as mayor.

On November 30, Landrieu announced a new group called the Fix My Street Financing Working Group.

“From budget meetings to the Fix My Streets campaign, we have heard from our residents loud and clear that street repairs are one of their top priorities. Repairing and improving our city’s aging infrastructure is absolutely essential to New Orleans’ long-term growth and success,” Landrieu said in a press conference.

When I have class at 8 a.m., I have to leave my house 30 minutes ahead of time just to guarantee that I will arrive to class on time. I live 12 blocks away from campus. There have been multiple occasions where I have arrived late to class, missed quizzes and been marked absent due to construction on my route
to school.

I fully agree that construction is a benefit to the city because it provides jobs to hard working contractors and construction workers. However, the negative aspect of all this construction is that it all occurs at the same time. If the city could spread out over the course of a year the different construction projects instead of having it all done at once, that might satisfy my anger at the city’s infrastructure.

The fact that driving in the city of New Orleans is more hazardous than riding a bike is incomprehensible. There have been multiple occasions where potholes have left my car in desperate need of an auto repair, which can cost hundreds of dollars.

This has led me to heavily consider buying a bike so I can ride to campus instead of driving my car.

Over my years at Loyola, I cannot remember a time when Jefferson Street and Napoleon Avenue were not under construction. Even prior to Hurricane Katrina, about one-third of the city’s streets were rated in fair or worse condition according to the Mayor’s office.

The estimate for the road repairs are at $9.3 billion with $7 million of that money going to pave each mile of the city’s minor streets.

With the amount of money that the city is willing to spend on a long-term solution for the city’s poorly degraded roads, all I hope for is that the newly repaved roads will be as smooth as a scene out of the Pixar movie Cars.