Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 - The Fix My Streets Financing Working Group will work over the next few months to find ways to fund long overdue repairs on the interior streets of New Orleans.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu introduced his Fix My Streets Financing Working Group, a group charged with finding the $9.3 billion to repair the 1,547 miles of city-owned roads over the next 20 years, at a press conference held on St. Bernard Avenue at the site of a 7.5 billion dollar road project to be completed in 2016. As opposed to most prior road work, Mayor Landrieu says interior street repairs are the focus of this upcoming project. The attention shift to interior streets is due largely in part to the Fix My Streets campaign. Mayor Landrieu said, “The Fix My Streets campaign did a great job in communicating this message to me and to the administration, and came at a very constructive way, with the message that we knew that a lot was getting done, that major street repairs were being made around the city at record levels, but the interior streets in the city needed special attention.” According to Mayor Landrieu, there’s four times more road work being done in New Orleans on a daily basis than ever before. He says, “I know this because people simultaneously complain about not having their streets done, and also express some concern over having to wait in traffic because there's too much street work being done at one time.”
In addition to surface road repair, new sidewalks, new bike lanes, new crosswalks and ADA-compliant curbs, there are new sewer, water and drainage lines. To totally reconstruct a mile of road costs $7 million, so each block is worth roughly $450,000. The $9.3 billion the Fix My Streets Financing Working Group will secure is coming from several sources, none of which are new taxes. “One of the things that hopefully this group will do is take a very broad look at where federal revenue sources are, where state revenue sources are, where the city's are, whether they're being directed in the right way, and then come back with a short-term, medium-term and long-term solution that involves a number of different entities,” Mayor Landrieu says. “I want the public to know I'm being as aggressive as I can to draw in as many federal dollars as is possible, either for the Sewerage & Water Board or for the city, to minimize the burden on the taxpayer in New Orleans. We always look for public private partnerships.”
Mayor Landrieu did mention asking voters to renew a millage in April that will free up another $80-$100 million for street repairs over the next three years.
Deputy Mayor and Sewerage & Water Board director Cedric Grant urges citizens to visit roadwork.nola.gov for “an accurate view of all the roadwork happening so motorists can plan ahead.”
The mayor prides his Fix My Streets Financing Working Group on having expertise in civil engineering, business, construction, finance, banking, transportation, community engagement and government. Members are Dr. Norma Jean Mattei, Hon. Nadine Ramsey, Hon. Jason R. Williams, Walter Brooks, Shawn Wilson, Robert Lupo, Todd James, Henry F. “Freddy” Yoder, Jr., Eric Songy, Barbara Woolfolk, James R. Amdal, Wayne Neveu and Damon Burns. Three of these 13 members are from Fix My Streets.
Pre-Katrina roadway capital funding was $16 million, but has doubled to 34 million in the Mitch Landrieu administration.
The Landrieu administration has produced $946.7 million more in funding for public facilities and streets.
There have been 247 road projects totaling $342 million and 111 miles.
This year alone 40 road projects valued at $80 million will be/have been completed.
Since May 2010, more than 200,000 potholes have been filled. 68,000 this year alone.
Formed in May of 2014, Fix My Streets is a group made up of New Orleans citizens, who are fed up with the lack of a long term plan for properly fixing city streets. By using social media & grassroots actions, Fix My Streets continues to keep pressure on city leaders to fully develop and implement a sensible, long term repair plan.