Kenneth Dr. wants gate installed; PPC fights Hero Canal closingMar 29th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
Kenneth Drive, the short street in Belle Chasse that connects Highway 23 to Springwood Estates, was again a topic of discussion at last week’s council meeting. Residents of the street have seen their quiet dead-end turned into a thru-street for those who avoid highway traffic by cutting through Springwood, by way of Kenneth Drive, to get to Woodland Highway.
The residents of Kenneth and Springwood are now seeking to build a limited access gate at Kenneth and Hwy. 23. A remote control of some kind would allow these residents to enter, but not the general public. The entrance of Springwood on Woodland would not change. The proposed Kenneth Drive gate would allow anyone to exit.
Councilman Keith Hinkley, of District 2 where Springwood is located, asked that the council authorize a study for the limited access gate.
“Once this study has been done, then we can move forward,” said Hinkley. “We’re not creating a private subdivision. It’s limited access, not no access.”
The council approved the authorization for the study, 8-0. Councilwoman Marla Cooper, District 9. did not attend the meeting.
The council also unanimously supported a formal objection to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers temporarily closing Hero Canal for up to 60 days to finish construction by June 1, on West Closure Complex, the largest pump station in the world and a part of the New Orleans Risk Reduction Plan. Councilman Anthony Buras, District 5, said that in early discussions, the Corps said they would not close the canal, rather, they would build a bypass canal as to not impede traffic and the businesses on the waterway.
“The Corps at this point cannot give a start date or stop date,” said Buras. “This is going to severely affect these businesses.”
“The temporary closure is a proposal at this time,” said Corps public affairs officer Rene Poché. “Col. Fleming, the New Orleans District Commander, will consider all comments received on the issue before he makes a decision on the best path forward. The proposed temporary closure is the Corps’ contingency plan.
“We understand the impacts this proposed action would generate and are working diligently to avoid a closure,” Poché continued. “It’s most probable that the canal will remain open to continuous navigation traffic during construction however, this proposed closure is a back-up measure in case of construction delays or fabrication delays.”