A joint effort between the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans has completed $11.3 million in street and sidewalk improvements in the French Quarter.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said in a Friday release that the work in New Orleans' tourist heartland was mostly completed in December, although some minor items remain.
Parts of eight streets were paved with new asphalt, curbs and sidewalks were repaired and wheelchair ramps were installed. Street names are being set in New Orleans' trademark blue-and-white tiles at corners.
The new year is bringing free rush-hour tow trucks to help keep traffic flowing on one of the nation's busiest bridges.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says a tow truck will be stationed on the Crescent City Connection Bridge for three hours in the morning and three in the evening on weekdays.
The department says in a news release that the bridge is the nation's fifth busiest, with more than 156,000 vehicles crossing it daily and more than 33 million a year.
The Crescent City Connection Police Department has been transferred to Louisiana State Police as part of a restructuring of the bridge police division.
The state Department of Transportation and Development says the police department's administrative transfer to the Department of Public Safety was effective Monday.
Officials say the New Orleans-based bridge police officers will continue wearing their current uniforms and using their current marked vehicles until midnight Dec. 31. At that time, the officers will get new DPS uniforms and vehicles.
State officials say the White Castle ferry is expected to be out of service another 4-6 weeks.
The state Department of Transportation and development said repairs to the vessel's propeller shaft were expected to be completed by mid-September. But delays in dry docking, the discovery of the need for additional repairs and the landfall of Hurricane Isaac have pushed the estimated return of the ferry to mid-to-late October.
The ferry crosses the Mississippi River between White Castle and Geismar, upriver from New Orleans.
The Jindal administration has again sought the governor's former executive counsel to do legal work for the state, this time for the Department of Transportation and Development.
Jimmy Faircloth is representing the department in a lawsuit filed by a Shreveport-based health care firm over the route of a highway extension in Caddo Parish. Faircloth said Friday that he was contacted by DOTD last week to do the legal work.
DOTD spokeswoman Jodi Conachen said Faircloth will be paid $175 an hour for the three-year contract, with a cap of $150,000.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development resumed toll operations on the La. 1 Expressway in Leeville this morning at 10 a.m.
DOTD is conducting manual toll collections, and automated tolls will be collected by Geaux Pass toll tags. The in-lane cash and charge machine was severely damaged when a large truck struck it last month, but DOTD expects to have a replacement installed sometime this fall.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that it is in the process of restaging its busing assets to locations outside of the potential path of the storm and away from flood zones to ensure they are accessible for citizens' future use.
DOTD will maintain 10 coaches, one van and one pet carrier at Zephyr field if an immediate need arises.
LA Swift, the state-run commuter bus service between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will reach its millionth ride this month.
That's according to the state Department of Transportation and Development.
The bus service began in October 2005 to help people displaced by Hurricane Katrina get to and from New Orleans to work on their homes and look for jobs. But officials say it's expanded into a regular means of transportation for some commuters.
On average, more than 10,000 riders use the bus service each month, according to DOTD.