18 months after collapse, a New Orleans street reopens

New Orleans officials are marking the return of two-way traffic to a major New Orleans thoroughfare

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans officials marked the return of two-way traffic to a major New Orleans thoroughfare Wednesday, more than 18 months after the partial collapse of a hotel under construction at the edge of the French Quarter killed three people and halted traffic and commerce on a section of historic Canal Street.

Traffic flowing toward the Mississippi River returned four months ago. At Wednesday's news conference, Mayor LaToya Cantrell stood near the cleared site and heralded the recent return of traffic flowing away from downtown and the river, toward Lake Pontchartrain.

Much work remains in the area including street and utility repairs. Not all of the lake-bound lanes of Canal are open. A partial opening of the intersecting Rampart Street, another heavily traveled street with segments of one of the city's newer streetcar lines, is expected next month, officials said.