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City of New Orleans Announces New Recovery Projects Information Website.

New Website to be World's Window into New Orleans' Recovery

NEW ORLEANS -- The City of New Orleans today announced the launch of the new Recovery Projects Information Website developed to help current and displaced residents track the progress of the City's recovery projects. Citizens can access the link on the City's website at www.cityofno.com.

"Last month, we promised residents a way to track our progress and now we have delivered," said Dr. Edward Blakely, executive director of the Office of Recovery and Development Administration. "This communication tool will not only help us keep our local citizens informed, but will also enable us to reach many of our displaced citizens who are planning or considering a return to the City. This new website will be the world's window into New Orleans' recovery."

The site, which was developed jointly by MWH and the City, uses the familiar GoogleMaps technology to display each project on an easy-to-use map of New Orleans. Users can see all active projects currently loaded on the site or enter their home or business address, select the search radius and track the progress of projects in their own neighborhood. The website also provides citizens with a contact name, phone number and e-mail address for project related questions.

Project information is updated automatically from data sources that feed project schedules and internal reports. "This means that people in New Orleans and throughout the United States and abroad can view the same data as the project managers. While data can still be manually uploaded into the website, we plan to schedule automatic uploads on a weekly or daily basis," said Lisa Cookmeyer, program manager for MWH. "This ensures that information viewed by citizens and others is the most recent data available."

The website is part of a comprehensive public outreach and communication plan being developed to keep citizens informed. A summary of the data on the website will be downloaded monthly into a hard copy report which will be distributed to local community centers around New Orleans. The hard copy reports are intended for local residents who do not have Internet access or do not wish to access information online.

This is the first phase of the Recovery Projects Information Website. Future plans for the site include the addition of street projects from the Department of Public Works, as well as traffic advisories specifically related to each project, and public outreach events such as community meetings, groundbreaking ceremonies, and ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Future releases will be announced in the coming year.

In the last week, the City has announced more than 50 new projects that will be undertaken by the City's new Project Development Unit (PDU), bringing to approximately 200 the number of projects currently under way as part of the ORDA recovery effort. Assignment of the projects to the PDU is a result of the successful response to the second Request for Proposal for architects for design work which will move more projects forward for construction.

MWH, a global environmental engineering, construction and strategic consulting firm, is advising and assisting the City in overseeing the assessment, rehabilitation, replacement and strategic improvement of City buildings and infrastructure following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This work represents an integral step in the implementation of the Citywide Strategic Recovery and Rebuilding Plan, which is based on the Unified New Orleans Plan and the city's first phase recovery strategy based around 17 target recovery zones.
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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Website overview
Date:Feb 29, 2008
Words:571
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