Freeway Teardowns: The Prudent Choice?

Efforts to tear down the Interstate-10 Claiborne Expressway, a 2.2 mile section of elevated roadway in New Orleans that many locals and activists have blamed for separating neighborhoods. Neal Pierce says teardowns might begin to grow in popularity.
September 10, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The New Orleans roadway may be the most poignant of the separate cases that CNU makes for taking down 10 major U.S. downtown freeways. The expressway was constructed to run straight through - and over the wishes - of the heavily African-American Treme neighborhood, where the city's Creole aristocracy had once held sway.

But it's more of a spur than an essential part of the interstate system. And its consequences have been grim. Old Claiborne Avenue, with its generous, oak-shaded median, a walkable neighborhood center with a history of picnics, Mardi Gras parades and black marching bands, literally disappeared under the broad new route that backers claimed would carry traffic and prosperity into downtown New Orleans."

With tight federal budget constraints, the upkeep on these sorts of underused highways and interstates may end up being more expensive than the teardowns.

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Published on Thursday, September 2, 2010 in Citiwire
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