New Orleans city officials want to connect the Lafitte Greenway through downtown along Poydras Street, and a private foundation has promised to extend its eye-catching sculpture exhibition along the new segment.
The city’s department of Parks and Parkways is requesting the City Council dedicate $700,000 over the next two years for what is called the South Galvez Streetscape project, which would actually connect the Lafitte Greenway to the Poydras corridor along South Galvez. A path of sorts already exists between Tulane Avenue and Canal Street, said project architect Hailey Bowen, but most of the stretch is in “disarray,” said department director Ann Macdonald.
“There was a path and there’s still some remnants of it, but it’s not really usable,” Bowen told city planners earlier this month in a hearing on the department’s budget requests. “It needs to be redone.”
The project will also include planting new trees, trimming some, and removing two large Arizona ash trees that are in the way of the rebuilt path, Bowen said. When it is complete, residents who are biking and walking more will have a safer route into new jobs in the biomedical corridor, and everyone will be able to easily traverse the city from Mid-City along the Greenway down to the river through the new section.
“We’re creating this complete circuit where people can travel the whole district, which is kind of an up-and-coming area with the hospitals,” Bowen said.
Meanwhile, the Helis Foundation has pledged to continue the installation of sculptures along Poydras Street down the rebuilt stretch of South Galvez, connecting the public art project to the increasingly popular Greenway.
“They were really, really generous with funding the installation of all the sculptures on Poydras,” Macdonald said. “What we would like to do is extend that on Galvez by the biomedical center.”
The department’s request is for $100,000 in the coming year, followed by nearly $600,000 for the project. City planners are evaluating all the projects requested by city departments, and will make recommendations to the City Council that will become part of next year’s budget.