Under the Bridge

Recently, the City of New Orleans received a multi-million dollar grant to study the impacts of taking down the elevated freeway portion of I-10 through the Treme. 

Installed down a traditional oak-lined New Orleans neutral ground in the 1960s, many believe it marked the long decline of the storied neighborhood.  I agree that it was a poor decision then.  But, in talking with people, I wonder if removing it now would really undo all the harm to the community - I think there are more factors than just the freeway.  Some residents seem to think that stability of the neighborhood is more important at this point - that the tumult of any type of overly dramatic change to the local landscape is the real threat.

It's interesting to see how even the monstrous, imposed construction...can become familiar and even be embraced as a unique part of a community.  Recently, a brass band blowout held beneath the interstate gave a sense of that flipside: members of the brass bands said that the setting provides them with unparalleled acoustics.

And I still think that the move needs to be made only after much deliberation.  The city needs to ensure that a surface boulevard could actually handle the immense traffic volume, and that such a layout would actually be better for the immediately surrounding neighborhood.