Homeless people camping below the Pontchartrain Expressway have been directed to clear out by Thursday evening.

They've been notified that the city's health department has declared the area beneath the expressway from Claiborne Avenue to St. Charles Avenue "a public health hazard."

The homeless were given 72 hours notice on Monday to remove their personal property and leave so that the area can be cleaned.

In a notice to those camping beneath the expressway the city says shelter beds are available in the city and that two bags of personal belongings will be accomodated at the shelters.

There have been complaints about criminal activity and substance abuse.