Lincoln Beach Redevelopment

 

Lincoln Beach Redevelopement Project Status:

In September 2023, in response to five proposals submitted to the City, the project team selected a firm to develop a Master Plan for Lincoln Beach. The City chose Sasaki, Inc., a firm that has created master plans for waterfront recreational parks around the world. 

The first of the community engagement meetings began in February 2024.  Learn more on how you can participate in determining the future of Lincoln Beach here.

Check the city calendar to see when the Lincoln Beach Community Advisory Committee meetings will be held.  This committee was established by Mayor Cantrell to include representatives of the Lincoln Beach area communities and members of the administration.

Construction contracts to address immediate needs at the beach, such as the repairing the shelters and pavement are tentatively scheduled to go to bid in the first quarter of 2024. Register on BRASS to be notified of upcoming construction contract opportunities.

 

History

 

Lincoln Beach is an approximately 15-acre site bounded by Lake Pontchartrain to the north, east and west and by Southern Railroad/Hayne Boulevard to the south.

Location

 

Lincoln Beach was established along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in the early 1900s as a recreational area for African Americans. The site was managed by the City until its closing in 1964.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Beach featured amusement fair rides, games, restaurants, a swimming pool, access to lake swimming, and frequent live music performances by famous musicians such as Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, and Nat “King” Cole. 

 

 

Current Conditions

Closed since 1964, structures and facilities at Lincoln Beach have gradually deteriorated over time due to lack of maintenance and a barrage of hurricane impacts, causing unsafe conditions at the site.

 

The Cantrell Administration is prioritizing quality of life issues. In 2021, the City completed a Site Assessment showing the current conditions of the beach and identified the kind of mitigation activities that would be necessary to return it to public use.

Access to the Lincoln Beach site is prohibited; however, there is ample evidence of unpermitted and unlawful use of the beach and property behind the  Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity earthen levee and floodwall on Hayne Blvd. Prior to being closed, the beach was accessible through a tunnel beneath the levee. The tunnel is currently fenced and filled with water and wildlife including alligators and venomous snakes.  

 

 

The Site Assessment is available here. It includes the following elements;

Phase 1

  • Environmental Site Assessment and Habitat Assessment -  a simple habitat assessment of the beach area to determine plant species that are present on site, and characterize habitat types and percent cover. Specifically, identify potentially poisonous flora, such as poisonous oak or ivy, which could pose a risk to staff or volunteers performing clean-up activities. Identify invasive species and percent cover, provide an estimate to facilitate removal of such invasive species. 
  • Facility Asset Assessment – update the site inventory and assess the conditions of the parking lot structures, shelters, tunnels, swimming pool, concrete pads, and other historic structures.
  • Facility Access Assessment – evaluate current pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular, and public transit access possibilities and limitations. Potential future access points that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act will be identified as well as opportunities and challenges for implementing future access points for pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular, and public transit will be evaluated.
  • Utility Assessment - conduct a utility assessment including existing drainage, sewerage, potable water, gas, and electrical systems.
  • Topographic, Bathymetric, and Magnetometer Survey – survey of the shoreline demonstrating average water depths and the location of underwater debris that may present a challenge to converting the space to recreational use.
  • Comprehensive Site Assessment - include conceptual level engineering evaluation and drawings indicating potential areas of future development of the site, suitability of the existing beach for recreational use, suitability of the existing waterfront structures and nearshore areas for recreational boating access, potential areas of ingress/egress, list of potential permits required for development of the site, and areas unsuitable for development due to the presence of wetlands or other environmental concerns.

Phase 2

  • Lincoln Beach Redevelopment Master Plan - currently, the Office of Resilience and Sustainability is spearheading the master planning process which includes other City agencies, residents and environmental groups. Future use of the site may include recreation, eco-tourism, education, historic preservation, rentable dock space, and special events or concert space. The future site must be accessible to the general public, vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, seniors, and people with disabilities when it opens.            

Questions about the Lincoln Beach Redevelopment Master Plan may be directed to Cheryn Robles at crobles@nola.gov.