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SELA Napoleon Project
Napoleon Canals Project
The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are building the canals as part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA). The entire project, estimated to take two years to complete, will run from Fontainebleau Drive to South Claiborne Avenue, with traffic patterns being periodically altered as the work progresses in two to three-block sections on Napoleon towards South Claiborne Ave.

The Corps and the S&WB have worked closely with and will continue to coordinate the work with the City's Department of Public Works and the Regional Transit Authority to keep inconveniences to a minimum. Contractor for the project is James Industrial Contractors.

Each canal will be 19 feet wide by 13 feet high. They will parallel an existing 20-by-12-foot canal which will remain fully operational during construction. The SELA program is a joint effort among the Corps and Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes to improve drainage through major construction projects, using 75 per cent Corps of Engineers funds and 25 per cent local matching funds. The local funds for the Napoleon project include $3.33 million from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's Statewide Flood Control Program.

Harold Gorman, S&WB executive director said, "We have had several neighborhood meetings to describe the work and the traffic detours and to receive input from the citizens. They are aware of the magnitude of the project and know that the end result will be much better drainage for this entire area."

In addition to the canal work, parallel drain lines requiring repair will also be replaced. Once construction is completed, the street in the affected areas will be resurfaced, the neutral ground will be landscaped and trees will be replanted."

Most of the canal work will take place beneath the neutral ground and in the southbound traffic lane (riverbound lane) closest to the neutral ground. As part of the Napoleon project, a large number of parallel sewer lines along Napoleon will be repaired and sewer house connections will be replaced. A grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will pay for 55 per cent of the sewer line work.

A special hotline has been set up for citizens who have questions or comments about the project. The number is 585-2450. Information about the work and the changing traffic patterns will be available on the Board's website: www.swbnola.org.

The Napoleon work is part of an overall improvement project for all of Uptown New Orleans and Broadmoor. Two other SELA projects in the area are the $18 million expansion of Pumping Station No. 1 at South Broad and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard which is now underway and construction of a new $21 million manifold canal beneath the neutral ground of South Claiborne Avenue from Nashville to Louisiana Avenue set to begin later this year. Some $4.6 million in DOTD Statewide Flood Control Program funds are allocated for the S. Claiborne canal project.

Approximately $17 million in S&WB funds was previously allocated for drainage improvements in the South Broad Street area and an additional $80 million was spent by the S&WB during the last 10 years for work on canals and pumping stations which receive water from the Uptown/Broadmoor area and transport it to Lake Pontchartrain.