May 25 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 21, 2009
Louisiana Recovery Authority
State of Louisiana Approves $2.6 Million for Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans
BATON ROUGE, La. - The state of Louisiana has approved $2.6 million for the Lafitte Corridor Revitalization Plan and Greenway Trail Design and Construction project in the Treme and Mid-City neighborhoods, allowing the New Orleans Office of Recovery and Development Administration to access federal Community Development Block Grant funds needed to implement the project.
The 3.1 mile greenway corridor stretching along a former shipping and railroad canal will be anchored by a bicycle and pedestrian trail that connects Armstrong Park with City Park via Bayou St. John and the Wisner and Marconi bike routes. The greenway will provide open space and recreational, educational and cultural features to enhance the lifestyle and economic vigor of surrounding neighborhoods.
The funding comes from the Long Term Community Recovery Program, a $700 million pool of federal CDBG money set aside by the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Office of Community Development to help local governments rebuild and implement long-term recovery plans.
Both the Treme and Mid-City neighborhoods were badly flooded by Hurricane Katrina, leaving the area residents with blighted and unused open spaces. The Lafitte Greenway project will provide an attractive recreational and mixed-use corridor that will serve as an economic development stimulus for the area, as well as meet alternative transportation needs and offer some services and jobs.
The project costs nearly $3 million in total, and will include design elements such as intersection improvements, landscaping, lighting, signage and drainage, as well as an analysis of land use, neighborhood access to the corridor, business clustering, economic incentives, neighborhood stabilization and blight reduction.
In addition to $2.6 million in CDBG disaster recovery funds, another $398,248 in state funds will be dedicated to the project from the Louisiana Transportation Enhancements program and the Governor’s Recreational Trail program.
LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater said, “This greenway project will transform the inner city corridor from an industrial to a mixed-use space that will improve the economy of the area and enhance residents’ quality of life. The investment of disaster recovery funds into public green spaces with biking and hiking trails will help stimulate additional recovery and rebuilding efforts in the heart of the city.”
New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said, “The city of New Orleans seeks to implement national best practices in our rebuilding efforts. Notably, urban planners of today advocate mixed-use developments that incorporate retail, residential and recreational spaces tailored to meet the daily needs of residents. The Lafitte Greenway project captures the essence of this approach.”
The state’s LTCR program supports implementation of local governments’ long-term recovery plans in the most heavily impacted communities in the state. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved LRA’s request to reallocate $500 million in CDBG dollars to the program, bringing to $700 million the total amount of long-term recovery funding available to the parishes. Funds are distributed among the parishes through the LRA/Office of Community Development according to a formula based on estimated housing and infrastructure damages inflicted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In total, the LRA has allocated $410,720,016 of CDBG funding to the city of New Orleans for LTCR projects.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.
Source: Louisiana Recovery Authority
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