NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Bring Back New Orleans Commission released its reconstruction proposal Wednesday that calls for eliminating a 76-mile shipping channel.
The plan, which had been due 11 days ago, also calls for a complete reorganization of the city school system to reflect new housing centers, a 53-mile light-rail system connecting neighborhoods with the airport and downtown, and the creation of a new jazz district downtown.
The most controversial proposal, reported Sunday by The New York Times, would allow residents to return soon to all sections of the city, but within a year would close neighborhoods that did not achieve a critical mass of residents.
The shipping channel was the prime cause of flooding that affected 80 percent of the city after Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29.
The light-rail system, estimated to cost $3 billion, is intended to help spark development in areas of the city that were flooded, the Times said.
The jazz district would be in the old Storyville section, north of the French Quarter, an idea of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, a member of the commission and the co-chairman of its culture committee.