Restoring Claiborne Avenue: Alternatives for the Future of Claiborne Avenue
Transportation analysis says removal of Claiborne Expressway is viable and would recover more than 50 acres of freeway-covered parking lots and empty lots near interchanges for public neutral ground, bike paths, transit corridors, and sites for redevelopment
A report to the Claiborne Corridor Improvement Coalition and the Congress for the New Urbanism, Prepared by Smart Mobility Inc. and Waggonner & Ball Architects
This report, commissioned for the Claiborne Corridor Improvement Coalition by the Congress for the New Urbanism, explores future alternatives for the elevated Interstate‐10 (I‐10) Claiborne Expressway corridor. Using traffic data and circulation patterns, the report concludes that removal of the freeway would bring important benefits for surrounding neighborhoods and New Orleans as a whole.
It finds that the replacement of major segments of the Claiborne I-10 freeway with a restored urban boulevard would result in a well-functioning transportation system that meets regional needs while promoting the economic and social rebirth of the once-vibrant Claiborne Avenue and its surrounding communities.
The report’s chief findings include:
Demolition of the aging elevated expressway would remove an eyesore that has dominated and damaged the Tremé/Lafitte landscape for almost 50 years and held back serious attempts to spur economic development. The destruction of the oak-lined avenue and construction of the elevated expressway in the 1960s, was intimately tied to the overall decline of Claiborne’s surrounding neighborhoods and occurred against the wishes of the area’s largely disenfranchised African-American residents. Removing the elevated expressway would free up more than 50 acres for use as public neutral ground, bike paths, transit corridors, as well as freeing significant acres outside the boulevard itself for redevelopment. In addition, a simplified interchange between the restored Claiborne boulevard and the Pontchartrain Expressway could free up valuable land near the Superdome for redevelopment.
Download the full Restoring Claiborne Avenue report by Smart Mobility Inc. and Waggonner & Ball Architects (12 MB PDF).
Possible Future for the Claiborne Corridor
View of the Claiborne Corridor Today
Views of Claiborne Avenue 1966 (left) and 1968 (right)