The Road to Access
We may not have the polar vortex variety of problems, but every Tom, Dick and Boudreaux knows that bad weather in New Orleans is no joke. Therefore, the opening of an all-weather access road on the Lakefront is an announcement that can be hailed with almost as much excitement as the beginning of crawfish season.
Part of the United States Army Corps of Engineers $14 billion Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, the road runs 10 miles from the West Return Floodwall in Kenner to the 17th Street Canal in Metairie. The road extends an additional two and a half miles south along the West Return Floodwall from Lake Pontchartrain to Interstate 10, and includes asphalt ramps at several locations providing access from local residential streets. Bridges constructed across water discharge basins of the four Jefferson Parish pump stations provide a continuous, unbroken path for the entire 10 miles.
Though originally built to allow access to the flood side of the levee for inspections and maintenance by the East Jefferson Levee District and Corps of Engineers, the All-Weather Access Road is open for recreational purposes as well, such as jogging, rollerblading, walking by the lake and cycling. In time of emergency, all recreational users of the road must yield to East Jefferson Levee District, State of Louisiana and Corps of Engineer official vehicles as well as emergency vehicles.