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City of New Orleans and Port of New Orleans discuss expanding riverfront public access

A discussion takes place later this week

Yesterday, the Port of New Orleans, The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, and the City of New Orleans came to a preliminary agreement that could change the way the Esplanade Avenue and Governor Nicholls Street Wharves are used along the Mississippi River.

In the proposed plan, the Public Belt and its assets will be aligned under the Port of New Orleans. According to the Office of the Mayor, the structural change in command will promote economic growth in the city. The authorities over the Port and Public Belt will meet to discussed the plan later this week.

A separate part of the plan requires the Port to transfer the Governor Nicholls Street and Esplanade Avenue Wharves to the City of New Orleans.

The transferring of property would result in a 2.6 mile stretch of land that could be used to enhance the riverfront. While no plans are finalized, the Mayor’s office hints at using the land for “public enjoyment” in an official release.

Located by the wharves is Crescent Park that is a 1.4 mile linear park along the Riverfront. Completed in 2015, the $30 million park was funded though the Hurricane Katrina and Rita Long-Term Community Recover Program, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The park spans from Elysian Fields Avenue to Mazant Street, effectively servicing the Marigny and Bywater.