Another milestone: Drainage work moves to Oaks

Jamia Collins/Courtbouillon
Construction has moved between Williams and Kearney and on to the Avenue of the Oaks.

NEW ORLEANS (March 4, 2018) – Another milestone in the 18-month, $6.5 million drainage project has been accomplished as the circular portion of the unnamed main roadway on campus reopened Feb. 22, and work has begun in the area of the Avenue of the Oaks.

Adonis Woods, director of facilities management, had projected the circular area of the main road behind Williams Hall, Kearney Dining Hall and the bookstore would reopen by mid-March, but the contractor completion that section ahead of the deadline.

Woods said the entire project is on track for completion as scheduled by the end of the year.

Woods said the contractor, Beverly Construction, completed work on the straight portion of the main road by Cook and the Professional Schools and Sciences Building on Nov. 13 and then started on the curved section of the road to the rear of campus.

The next phase around the Avenue of the Oaks will continue until commencement, which is not expected to be affected.

An email to the campus from Woods explained that while heavy construction equipment would cause tracking and demolition of existing landscaping, the contractor will “restore our beautiful historic grounds to preconstruction conditions.”

Finally, the work on the straight roadway from the Rosenwald gate is scheduled to start in the summer and should be completed by December, he said.

The contractor is installing concrete stormwater pipe to capture rainwater from catch basins and transfer it to a retention pond that will be located behind the tennis courts, the director said.

Woods said he has not received many complaints “since everyone understands this is a project to benefit us all and mitigate high water and flooding” on campus.

Even so, the eventual benefits have not stifled some complaints about problems with parking during construction prior to the reopening of the main roadway.

Jazmin Clemons, a junior English major from Chicago, said, “I stay in Williams Hall, and I have to park my car across the campus in the Gentilly Gardens because of the lack of parking because of the construction.”

Ivy Hill-Davis, an administrative assistant in the Academic Center for Excellence, said, “It’s ridiculous that I have to go across campus for a parking spot and have to walk across the Oaks to get to work.”

(Jalynn Lee contributed to this report.)