Instead of opening before Mardi Gras, the new $1 billion terminal at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport won’t open until after the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
A consultant told the city’s Aviation Board on Thursday that the three-month delay is needed so workers can replace nearly a half-mile of sewer pipe, news agencies reported.
Chris Spann told the board in June that shifting oil had displaced the original main sewer line. Spann said it was intended to work by gravity, but several sections were moved upward. He said the new line will use pumps.
This is the third delay for opening the terminal, which will replace the current one. It originally was planned to open in May of this year. Now, opening day is expected May 15, 2019.
In 2019, the “Fat Tuesday” that punctuates the Mardi Gras period falls on March 5.
Spann said the $7.5 million change will be covered by $35 million in recently obtained funding, including $19 million from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The new terminal and connecting roadways will cost about $1.25 billion, with airlines and passengers paying about 70 percent of the cost. The rest is coming from federal, state and local governments.