Woman celebrates year of unfinished construction in front of New Orleans home


Have you heard the word on the street? There’s a party … for the street.

A New Orleans woman knew just how to toast the first anniversary of some inconveniently incomplete road work in front of her home — by staging a little party.

Natalie Harvey lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of the Big Easy, and couldn’t help but laugh that the construction on her street was unfinished a year after it began. Inspired, the nurse baked a “replica” cake complete with construction worker Legos, miniature Cat trucks, traffic safety equipment and a “road closed” sign, posing in front of the real-life nuisance with balloons and a party hat.

Natalie Harvey lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of the Big Easy, and couldn’t help but laugh that the construction on her street was unfinished a year after it began.

Natalie Harvey lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of the Big Easy, and couldn’t help but laugh that the construction on her street was unfinished a year after it began.
(Natalie Harvey)

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“Happy first birthday to our street construction! It was one year ago this week when they first began to rip up our street,” Harvey joked in a March 16 Facebook post. “One year later, half the street is impassable — just last week, we had a massive, 6-foot-deep hole!”

Shots from the woman’s faux fête have since gone viral with over 1,100 likes and almost just as many shares. In conversation with Fox News, Harvey said she’s amused that her post struck a chord with so many people from near and far.

“I thought that I might get a good reaction locally for my post, since New Orleanians are used to the awful road conditions here. I didn’t think it would spread across the country and even world!” she said on Monday. “I guess construction delays are universal. I’m glad that I could make some people laugh after all of the frustrations of the last year.”

The NOLA resident posed in front of the real-life nuisance with balloons and a party hat.

The NOLA resident posed in front of the real-life nuisance with balloons and a party hat.
(Natalie Harvey)

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“I made the cake and posed for the photos to give my neighbors a reason to laugh about the situation,” Harvey joked. “That’s how people in New Orleans deal with absurdity — we celebrate.”

Inspired, the nurse baked a "replica" cake complete with construction worker Legos, miniature Cat trucks, traffic safety equipment and a "road closed" sign.

Inspired, the nurse baked a “replica” cake complete with construction worker Legos, miniature Cat trucks, traffic safety equipment and a “road closed” sign.
(Natalie Harvey)

According to the resident, it’s been a pain to navigate 20th Street since workers ripped up the road last March.

“Our driveways on my side were blocked for about three months this summer. Now the other side is blocked, so nearly every house on the opposite side of the street from mine has their driveways blocked,” Harvey told WGNO.

Explaining the delay, one official cited the coronavirus pandemic and inclement weather, among other issues, as the reasons for the sporadic schedule.

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“It’s a complicated project,” Ramsey Green, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure for the city, told WWL. However, Green said he’s been in talks with other officials to establish “tighter deadlines given how long that project has taken.” Now, a new completion date for the 20th Street project is set for summer.

All jokes aside, the refinished road will certainly be cause for celebration when the work is finally through.

“I’m very optimistic, I can’t wait for my kids to be able to ride their bikes down the street one day,” Harvey told the outlet.



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