State Plays Major Role in Superdome Renovation, Coastal Restoration Projects

By Amalia Otet, Associate Editor New Orleans Superdome renovations have reached the finish line after six bustling years and various upgrade stages that resulted in an extraordinary achievement for the state of Louisiana. The last phase of the massive transformation was [...]

New Orleans Superdome renovations have reached the finish line after six bustling years and various upgrade stages that resulted in an extraordinary achievement for the state of Louisiana. The last phase of the massive transformation was completed in early July, in time to host the ESSENCE Music Festival. The investments have been estimated at around $85 million for this final touch that was part of a more extensive $336 million rehabilitation project developed by The Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. The building contract was awarded to a joint venture of Citadel Builders and Roy Anderson Corp. that brought employment up to 500 during the peak construction season, according to New Orleans City Business.

The recent enhancements include a complete renovation and expansion of the plaza concourse that added more restrooms and concession points of sale to the existing facility; a reconfiguration will add thousands of new seats; two premium bunker club lounges featuring incredible finishes and totaling approximately 7,600 square feet, flat-screen TVs and full-service bars that could accommodate and service 4,500 fans; three additional elevators; and several other significant improvements.

The work is not entirely done yet, as the project includes the remodeling of the Champions Square, as well, which is currently in the process of being transformed into a true pedestrian mall. A permanent grand staircase leading to the newly extended Gate C of the Superdome will also be installed. The construction is expected to be completed before Aug. 12, when the Saints are scheduled to face the San Francisco 49ers.

In other news, the Army Corps of Engineers received approval from state and federal officials for a $446 million restoration of the Barataria Basin Barrier Shoreline. This is a huge project that would provide the much required shoreline protection against erosion, storms and other environmental events, and it consists of two stages: the reconstruction of the Caminada Headland and the restoration of the mostly disappeared Shell Island. Work is set to begin immediately on the first part of the project, the use of offshore sand deposits to build a dune that would rise seven feet above sea level along the Caminada shoreline, while the second is put on hold until more funds are redirected toward the mission, The Times-Picayune reported.