DDD and City of New Orleans Commit to Enhanced Drainage Infrastructure Plan for Downtown


The DDD Board of Commissioners has approved a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of New Orleans to fund major improvements to Downtown’s storm water management infrastructure. This historic agreement commits $5 million over two years to install pervious pavement, underground water detention, and larger stormwater drain lines in 19 Downtown blocks. The DDD sees this as the first step in a comprehensive, multi-year strategy to reduce flooding caused by excessive rainfall and to improve the quality of life for every Downtown stakeholder. Please see below for the announcement from the City.

Sept. 10, 2020

Contact: LaTonya Norton
For Media Inquiries Only
(504) 658-4962

DDD Board Approves City’s Downtown
Drainage Infrastructure Plan

NEW ORLEANS — The Downtown Development District (DDD) Board yesterday approved a cooperative endeavor agreement (CEA) for drainage infrastructure improvements with the City of New Orleans.

The agreement is part of Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s #FairShare initiative and will establish an escrow fund from which the City will be reimbursed for drainage infrastructure improvements performed in the DDD. The reimbursements will be made to the City’s Infrastructure Maintenance Fund for use by the City of New Orleans Department of Public Works (DPW). The CEA must now be approved by the New Orleans City Council.

“We are putting our ‘Fair Share’ dollars to use in an effective, efficient way. This agreement will create a two-year infrastructure funding plan to address flooding in Downtown New Orleans. We want to thank the DDD for their collaboration on this plan, which will focus on parking lane storm water retention and increase the size of the drain lines to address this critical problem. We are showing how, working together, we can move this City forward,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

“We are very excited about reaching this important deal with the Downtown Development District,” said Ramsey Green, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure and Chief Resilience Officer. “Despite the many challenges our city faced throughout the last year, we remained committed to finalizing a thoughtful and comprehensive plan that will lead to millions in innovative infrastructure upgrades. A combination of up-sizing existing drain lines and adding permeable parking lanes will be implemented on 19 blocks in the downtown area, resulting in more efficient storm water management and a subsequent reduction in localized flooding.”

“The City’s Plan has been vetted by the DDD’s water management consultant, Waggonner & Ball, who believes that this plan will help reduce flooding as it is implemented over time, ensuring that Downtown New Orleans continues to be the most sought-after destination in Louisiana for investors, residents and visitors,” said DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle. “We thank our stakeholders for their participation in this process. This agreement, while addressing their needs, incorporates the accountability they demanded. This is a big win for Downtown and the entire city. We look forward to working with the City to continue to improve water management infrastructure Downtown. New Orleans should lead the nation in these techniques. Today’s CEA and future DDD-City agreements will put us in a position to set an example for the nation.”

“I would like to thank the City of New Orleans for working with us in constructing a plan that will help mitigate flooding and provide protection in Downtown and for property owners and stakeholders,” said DDD Board Chair Michelle Craig. “This plan will help to ensure the best quality of life in Downtown New Orleans which is the mission of the DDD and Downtown taxpayers. The improvements will lend to the progress, development and investment that continues in Downtown New Orleans.”

About the Plan
The Department of Public Works (DPW) developed a plan to utilize green infrastructure methods that will improve drainage on 19 blocks located in the DDD over the first two years of the $5 million plan. Methods include upgrading five percent of the undersized drainage pipes that are below the at least 15-inch minimum standard and installing pervious pavement in parking lanes that will hold more than one million gallons of storm water during severe weather events.

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