Road Construction Resources for Businesses
We love the beauty and charm of our almost 300 year-old city, but we don’t always love its aging infrastructure, crumbling streets, and local flooding. The good news is that New Orleans has secured billions of dollars to complete a once-in-a-generation amount of infrastructure improvements. Residents, businesses and tourists will experience some short-term impacts along the way, but this is a major down payment on our city’s future.
In November 2015, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development began a partnership with StayLocal to support businesses in corridors affected by road construction. We developed and collected the materials below to help out your business during this period of interruption.
Reports and Tools
“Road Construction Toolkit for New Orleans Businesses” - The toolkit features important contact information, best practices, cases studies, and more to help your businesses during road construction.
New Orleans Business Continuity Guide - The purpose of this guide is to familiarize New Orleans businesses with available resources that can help them assess their disaster risk and prepare for the unexpected. You can read about real life solutions to major business disruptions devised by some of New Orleans’ most resilient business owners starting on page 18.
Roadwork.nola.gov – This website shows block-by-block details on planned, active, and complete construction projects and permitted road closures.
File a Claim with the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board - SWBNO is investigating and resolving property damage issues caused by the SELA construction projects. Residents can learn more about the process and/or initiate the property damage claims process by either calling the SELA Hotline at (504) 585-2450 or visiting www.swbnoselaclaims.com.
About the process
There are two types of claims businesses can make (1) structural damage and (2) loss of business. Another option is to take legal action, however this will close you off to assistance and communications from project partners, including SWBNO and USACE, and make you ineligible for the claims process.
Primarily for businesses and residents within 150-200 ft radius of construction.
Involves a before and after assessment by a forensic engineer.
Even if the construction as already started, it’s never too late to initiate a claim.
SWBNO will cover one repair per issue (i.e. if you had to repair your sign three times during the construction process, the SWBNO will only cover the cost of one repair).
If there is a structural emergency, call SELA hotline 504-585-2450, SWBNO will pay for emergency structural repairs sooner.
Best Practices - once you have initiated your claim:
Call SWBNO if any new damages occur.
Keep your own pictures and records of any damages.
Claims will be paid out once the construction in the area is finished.
Be proactive and stay engaged!
Loss of Business
Includes a legal review of income, expenses, taxes, etc. for the past 3 years.
Onus is on business owner to prove loss of business as well as hire and pay an attorney.
Job: Contractors overseeing entire SELA project
Contact: Caitlin E. Campbell, Public Affairs - Caitlin.E.Campbell@usace.army.mil / 504.862.2545
SELA Hotline: 877.427.0345 / www.facebook.com/SELAfloodprotection
Job: Coordinate with ACE to move utility lines and maintain/add directional signage
Contact: Cheryon Robles, Community Outreach Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Job: community engagement, claims process, projects affecting water infrastructure
Contact: Lucas Díaz, Community Engagement Coordinator - email@example.com / 504.585.2450
Job: Support all businesses affected by contraction and serve as a liaison between City agencies and business
Contact: Courtney Stuckwisch, Policy and Program Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org / 504.658.4075
Job: Support independent businesses affected by contraction by providing resources and marketing opportunities
Contact: Meredith Cherney, Program Manager - email@example.com / 504.252.125
You can also reach out to your City Councilmember
Concern: Construction and flooding are making parking difficult.
Answer: Construction teams are supposed to park at least two blocks away from project.
TIP: Write down the license plate number and car disruption and call the SELA Hotline 877-427-0345. This way the ACE can keep track of complaints and alert supervisors.
Concern: Businesses and residents would like trash to be picked up and construction waste to be removed.
Answer: Army Corps of Engineers says any specific construction concerns should be relayed to Caitlin Campbell (Caitlin.firstname.lastname@example.org / 504-862-2545) instead of any workers on site. This way the ACE can keep track of complaints and alert supervisors.
Signage for Traffic
Concern: The roadwork is affecting the flow of traffic and blocking signage.
Answer: If there is a specific area in need of better signage or an area with unclear signage for traffic purposes contact Caitlin Campbell (Caitlin.email@example.com / 504-862-2545)
NOTE: The Army Corps, as a federal agency, cannot put up signs directing people to businesses since it is considered marketing.
Signage for businesses
Businesses can put up signs to let people know you are open and direct customers to the store's entrance or parking area.
+ Window signs at your business are allowed without a permit.
+ Fence signage is allowed, just get an okay from the foreman. (NOTE: the temporary fences are frequently moved and the construction teams will not reposition signs, so make sure you monitor your fence signage.)
+ Barricade signs - To get signage on a "road closed" barricade contact Cheryon Robles at DPW (firstname.lastname@example.org).
+ Banners require a temporary permit.
+ A-frame signs:
Limited to 6ft wide by 5ft tall
Limited to business hours only and must be stored indoors
One A-frame sign is permitted per business
Minimum 20ft separation required between A-frame signs
Must be within 15ft of the primary business entrance
Cannot interfere with pedestrian traffic or violate ADA accessibility standards or other accessibility codes
Public right-of-way signs require a lease of servitude
TIP: To learn more or to apply for a sign that requires a permit, visit the City of New Orleans' One Stop Shop.
Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or the new shop on the block, we hope these resources provide some new ideas and helpful resources.
StayLocal will work side-by-side with you to ensure your success!