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French Quarter residents concerned about safety amid sidewalk project

Updated: Apr. 28, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Neighbors call a sidewalk repair project in the French Quarter a “nightmare.” In a FOX 8 Defenders report, they say they’re upset as the work has halted with huge holes left behind.

When Keith Cravey steps out of his Ursulines Avenue house, it’s onto a piece of plywood, propped up over a hole in the sidewalk.

“It’s just a hazardous situation,” Cravey said.

It’s even worse next door. Cravey explains, “The two people that live here, one is 88, the other is 81, this is the access they have to their gate.”

Cravey says the wobbly, unstable boards made for a dangerous situation and forced the 88-year-old from her home, as it is the only entrance in and out.

“The 88-year-old went to Dallas to live with her sister because of concern. She was afraid she was going to break her neck,” Cravey said.

Neighbors call a sidewalk repair project in the French Quarter a “nightmare.” In a FOX 8...
Neighbors call a sidewalk repair project in the French Quarter a “nightmare.” In a FOX 8 Defenders report, they say they’re upset as the work has halted with huge holes left behind.(WVUE)

Neighbors say the construction here started in early March. It’s a project by the city to improve the sidewalks but just one week later, they say work suddenly stopped.

“I think I counted 31 total sites, between here to the river, that have been torn up and not repaired,” resident Larry Lane said.

While the residents we spoke to say they understand the city has to make improvements in the French Quarter from time to time, it’s the lack of information they find so frustrating.

“I don’t think the city has done a very good job of saying what happened, why it happened and when they’re gonna redo it,” Lane says.

After reaching out, Cravey says the Department of Public Works told him “they had some issues with the contractor so they moved them to another project Uptown.”

Not having any luck getting answers themselves, we reached out to the city. A city spokesman told us Wednesday the work is paused due to an issue with granite curbs throughout the project area, which must be kept and maintained during construction.

We are also told that a contractor will walk the site to ensure safety measures are in place and hazards will be addressed immediately. Additionally, the city says work is expected to resume on Ursulines and on Barracks and Governor Nicholls, which are also undergoing sidewalk repairs, in the next three to four weeks.

The entire project should be finished by summer.

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