After years of community support and planning efforts, the Lafitte Corridor Greenway and Revitalization project — the 3.1-mile linear park, green space and pathway stretching from the French Quarter to Lakeview — has received the final thumbs-up from Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Austin, Texas, urban design firm Design Workshop was officially awarded the contract.
In November 2009, the city picked Design Workshop to develop the greenway's master plan for the city's Department of Public Works, backed by an $11.6 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). An audit by the Department of Housing and Urban Development screened all projects using CDBG funds, however. That led the city to terminate its contract with Design Workshop in January 2010.
Then-candidate Landrieu asked then-Mayor Ray Nagin, who was about to leave office, to freeze all city contracts, further delaying bids for the Lafitte Corridor. When Landrieu rebid the project in 2010, Design Workshop was selected for a second time.
Design Workshop will begin community meetings to help guide the master plan this summer, and the Department of Public Works is expected to break ground next year. The city expects to finish the project in spring 2014. — Alex Woodward