Canal Street Traffic and Streetcar Plan Take Effect on Monday

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Traffic lane closures and cut backs in Canal Street Streetcar service that were originally scheduled to begin Sept. 4 will take effect Monday, September 17.

The re-routing at Elk Place and Canal Street, which is necessary to accommodate the installation of the track connecting  the Loyola Avenue Streetcar line to the Canal Streetcar line, will affect both motorists and transit riders through December.

“This special curved track placement will be the final phase of construction,” Regional Transit Authority Chairwoman Barbara C. Major said.  “Construction crews will work double shifts in order to complete the streetcar line by the end of the year.”

During construction, river-bound service on the Canal Streetcar line will end at Villere/Robertson Streets, where passengers will transfer to buses for the remainder of the trip to the river.  Lake-bound bus service will end at Villere/Robertson Streets, where passengers will transfer to streetcar service for the remainder of the trip. The MLK line and the Cemeteries/Museum legs of the Canal bus line will be detoured from Canal Street to Claiborne Avenue to St. Louis Street toRampart Street, where the Canal buses will turn ontoCanal Streetfor the remainder of the route.

WhileElk Placewill remain closed on the river-bound side betweenTulane AvenueandCanal Street, traffic lanes along the rest ofLoyola Avenuewill be open within four weeks.Poydras StreetandGirod Streetintersections are expected to be clear before the Saints first home game on Sunday.

“The Loyola corridor is a vital link between the Superdome andCanal Street, and the RTA is working to ensure that the line is fully operational before the Super Bowl in 2013,” said Major. “While we recognize there is an impact to the public, the successful completion of the streetcar line will be yet another ‘win’ for the City ofNew Orleans.”

When complete, streetcars will serve the Loyola corridor from the Union Passenger Terminal atHoward AvenuetoCanal Street, where they will connect to the Canal Streetcar line, which runs fromCityParkto the riverfront. The $45 million streetcar project is funded through a TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) competitive grant program, which funds innovative projects with significant economic and environmental benefits for the surrounding community and region.

For questions or concerns about construction, call the project hotline at 855-522-5354. For information about RTA service, visit www.norta.com.

A native of Houston, Tex., Shamier enjoys shopping, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

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