Will I-49 connector affect you? Find out at public meeting

I-49 Lafayette connector planning is under way.
(Photo: File photo)
I-49 Lafayette connector planning is under way. (Photo: File photo)

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – The public will have an opportunity Nov. 30 to review and provide feedback on the latest changes to design proposals for the 1.5-mile section of Interstate 49 near downtown Lafayette.

A public meeting is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the Progressive Baptist Church outreach center, 125 Gallian St., Lafayette. The meeting will include static displays manned by consultants who can assist with questions.

The meeting is designed to inform the public and collect input on design concepts for the six-lane interstate between Pinhook Road and the railroad spur near WalMart, as well as the remainder of 23 design modifications, all of which were presented to I-49 Context Sensitive Solutions committees recently.

Those reports suggest the cost of just that section of the proposed interstate could run between $355 million and $668 million, without a signature bridge. The highest cost would be to build a cut and cover (tunnel-like) section near downtown. An elevated interstate would cost less.

At a Nov. 2 meeting, consultants said some of the 23 Potential Design Modifications had been eliminated. They include some recommendations from the Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team working for Lafayette Consolidated Government and neighborhoods near the proposed interstate. Among the ETRT suggestions eliminated are an underpass at Taft/14th streets that would negatively impact Freetown-Port Rico, which was recently designated a historic district, and the use of 12th Street to connect neighborhoods on the east and west sides of the corridor, eliminated because of geometric conflicts with other streets.

Volunteers with the CSS community working group, technical advisory committee and executive committee evaluated the design concepts and modifications and are scheduled to learn the results Thursday and Friday.

In December or January, I-49 consultants are expected to develop hybrid design concepts that will be narrowed to a single preferred option to move forward, according to Bill Oliver,Acadiana area district engineer administrator with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

To view the designs and modifications, visit lafayetteconnector.com, click on Project Library, Community Work Group, then CWG Meeting No. 9 and No. 10.

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