Big Party December 1st

by Mary-jo Webster

REBRIDGE Fall Gala
December 1, 2012

What: The important fundraiser of the year for the REBRIDGE effort.
A lavish and exciting evening along the banks of Bayou St. John!

When: Saturday, December 1, 2012

Where: 1001 Moss Street in beautiful Faubourg St. John in New Orleans

Who: This year’s gala will be at the extraordinary home of Eric Hess and Judge Frank Thaxton III, ret.

Ti Martin is again graciously donating food for the event, so whether it is Commander’s Palace or the wonderful new SoBou, the food will be divine!

More details will be coming soon, but please hold the date and plan to attend the Second Annual REBRIDGE Gala on December 1st!

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Dear neighbors and Re-Bridge enthusiasts,

What follows is a long-overdue update about our efforts to rehabilitate the Dumaine Street and Magnolia bridges. Although I have not sent out an email recently, much work has been going on, and our progress is on track!

As a preface, I want to emphasize my great appreciation for the amazing support that has been offered and maintained, and without which this project would have died a long time ago:

~ The core group of Re-Bridge worker-bees that stays the course and gets it all done!

~ The Regional Planning Commission, who welcomed our initial proposals, contributed money and expertise, and continues to guide the project through a seemingly bewildering landscape!

~ Councilmember Susan Guidry, who has supported this project from the very beginning and continues to facilitate necessary conversations and collaborations!

~ The Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association, who encouraged the project to launch, provided initial seed money, and has been there to help, support, contribute, attend, participate, and advocate in whatever manner is needed!

Magnolia Bridge

Feasibility Study (completed) $10,000 Funded by the Regional Planning Commission (RPC)

Completed by Volkert, Inc in 2011. This study informed the application for Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds (TE), and in November, 2011 $844,400 was awarded for this project.

Environmental & Historical Analyses (current phase) $67,000 Funded by RPC, to which Re-Bridge has contributed $13,400 in matching funds.

Completed by Volkert and forwarded to State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for review in July. SHPO considers the impact of proposed work from an historic and archeological perspective and their review and approval is required prior to being able to spend any federal money on a project. A response from SHPO is expected soon, after which all documents will be forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval.

Engineering Design and Permitting (next phase) estimated at $200,000. TE funds cannot be used for this phase.

We have asked the City of New Orleans to provide funding for this phase, and we are awaiting final confirmation that money from an upcoming bond sale will be earmarked as such.

Construction (final phase) estimated at $888,750. The $844K in TE funds will be applied to this phase, leaving a match requirement estimated at $44,450.

The match dollars can be provided from any source: Re-Bridge, the City, or grant funding (as yet unidentified).

Dumaine Street Bridge

Re-Bridge contributed an engineering inspection (thanks to Jim Danner!) in 2011, which concluded that no structural damage exists.

The Department of Public Works inspects every bridge in the City every two years, and they have agreed to use the upcoming inspection of Dumaine to generate a scope of work and budget for beautification.

With a reliable estimate of cost, and once we understand what portions of the scope require professional v. volunteer services, Re-Bridge will pursue a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with the City of New Orleans. This CEA will allow Re-Bridge funding to fulfill a City-approved scope of work for cosmetic repairs and beautification.

Re-Bridge needs and welcomes community support! If you have some time, resources, money, or talent that you would like to contribute to the cause, please email me directly.

Many thanks to all of you,
Mary-jo Webster, Re-Bridge Chair
mwebs1@gmail.com