(Photo: Canal Street | Infrogmation)
Two-way traffic on Canal Street has resumed near the Hard Rocket Hotel and the occasion was marked with a reopening ceremony Wednesday nearly 18 months after the building collapsed.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and several officials celebrated the reopening both lanes of Canal Street from Burgundy though North Rampart streets. The outside lane along Canal Street that is closest to the collapse site was converted into a protected pedestrian pathway, while the city is currently working with business owners to restore the sidewalk and surrounding landscape to its pre-collapse condition, according to city officials.
The Hard Rock Hotel collapsed Oct. 12, 2019, killing three workers and injured 20 more. The intersection of Canal and Rampart streets remained completely closed to vehicular traffic for more than a year, until December, allowing crews to demolish the building.
“We’re happy that one of the busiest and most important streets in the City has been reopened. Even as we faced all the challenges that have emerged since the collapse, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a historic hurricane season, we continued to push those responsible for the collapse to clean up their mess and return our streets to the people,” Cantrell said.
Several more repairs are still needed, including to nearby infrastructure.
Water and sewer lines are being replaced, and anticipated service restorations to the Canal and Rampart streetcars are anticipated by late summer 2021 and the end of this year, respectively, according to Ramsey Green, deputy chief administrative officer for infrastructure.
Buses will continue to use Duncan Plaza as the main bus hub until further notice.
Roof replacements and other repairs to the Saenger Theatre, which was damaged in the collapse, are expected to be completed in July, city officials said.
Visit nola.gov for more information on the Canal Street reopening.