The Lafitte Greenway Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, a 2.6-mile multi-use trail and linear park, is now underway, according to the city of New Orleans. The highly anticipated $9.1 million development–bounded by Basin, Lafitte, St. Louis and North Alexander streets–will reclaim for public use an abandoned industrial railway corridor located on the site of the Carondelet Canal, which once provided ships with access to the French Quarter. Development is expected to last 11 months, with a spring 2015 grand opening.
The Lafitte Greenway will connect six historic neighborhoods from the French Quarter to Mid-City and Bayou St. John. The project includes more than 500 trees, rain gardens, native landscaping, crushed stone walking paths, environmental remediation, curb enhancements, crosswalks, new recreation fields, a 12-foot-wide asphalt path for bicyclists and pedestrians and a bicycle/pedestrian roundabout connecting the greenway to the Jefferson Davis Parkway and Wisner Bike Trails. Lafitte Greenway will also link with bikeways from the French Quarter and CBD, and existing and future bikeways on North Galvez Street, North Broad Street and North Jefferson Davis Parkway. New Orleans currently has 82 miles of bikeways and will surpass 100 miles before the year is out. By contrast, the city only had five miles of designated bike paths prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Designed by Design Workshop and constructed by Durr Heavy Construction, the project is funded by Disaster Community Development Block Grants and Louisiana Recreational Trails Grants. The Lafitte Greenway is part of the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan and is expected to be a catalyst for further development in the area, increase drainage capabilities during heavy rainfalls, provide multimodal alternative transportation and serve as a community gathering and recreational space.
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Image courtesy of the city of New Orleans.