Why isn’t there a sign for Lafayette on I-10?

Truck drivers wait Wednesday to get onto Interstate 10. Both lanes of I-10 are open Thursday morning. (Photo: Leslie Westbrook, The Advertiser )

During a discussion about how Interstate 49 will connect to Interstate 10, members of the project’s Community Work Group posed another question to DOTD officials: Why doesn’t Lafayette have its own sign on Interstate 10?

Morgan City has one. Lake Charles and Opelousas have one. Why not the Hub City?

“It’s always bothered me that we don’t have a Lafayette exit off of I-10,” Kate Durio said during the DOTD’s I-49 community meeting on Thursday. Durio is the marketing director for the Downtown Development Authority.

There are four marked exits into the city from I-10.

“But they take you to University Avenue, to Ambassador. It never says ‘Lafayette exit here.’” Durio added.

According to the DOTD, it’s because Lafayette is considered a “control city” by the Federal Highway Administration and its manual of traffic-control devices.

“We have to adhere to what comes out of that manual,” DOTD spokesperson Deidra Druilhet said.

The FHA defines control cities as locations marked on a string of traffic signs on a road that point out destinations along the route.

Control cities are marked on route signs at interchanges between freeways and separation of freeway routes that overlap.

But why not add sub-signs leading to Lafayette’s downtown district or other parts of the city, some of the group asked Thursday.

New signs to mark the city could be worked into the connector project, which will link I-10 through the city to I-49, said Rob Schmidt, of consulting firm AECOM.

“We are looking into the possibility of new, robust signage,” he told the group.

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