Representatives from the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in New Orleans, will sit down soon with other members of the hospitality industry and city leaders to discuss how to proceed with funding infrastructure improvements in downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter in advance of next year's Super Bowl if a proposed "hospitality zone" is not created, the center's general manager said the week before Memorial Day.
"We'll continue to explore ways to improve our infrastructure," Bob Johnson said. "We'll discuss other ways for the convention center to participate."
The convention center had been expected to provide the city with $30 million to conduct infrastructure improvements. About $19 million would go to installing permanent pavement, striping, and mill and overlay work. Another $3 million would go to repair sidewalks along 10 French Quarter streets. Money from the convention center also would go to cover the repair of 1,500 street lamps, the inspection and cleaning of 1,500 catch basins, and the conversion of 300 sidewalk crossings to ramps in the French Quarter and Central Business District.
In other news, the convention center again increased its planned spend on
renovations to the building's oldest phase.The latest cost addition came when the convention center board voted to increase its construction contract with Citadel Builders LLC by $545,134 to $38.45 million to add upgraded digital signs, modified work to the ceiling and other costs to the price. The change in contract price will not delay the construction. The renovation is scheduled to be completed Feb. 2, 2013, the day before Super Bowl XLVII.