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Louisiana: Some I-49 South Updates/Articles

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--- Quote from: Urban Prairie Schooner on January 28, 2009, 09:59:01 PM ---
Maybe some more of the "stimulus" package could be sent down our way as a down payment of sorts on I-49 extension.
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Main issue why more of the stimulus package money won't be used for I-49 South projects other than the US 90/LA 85 interchange/overpass is because that is the only project that would be available for letting within the 90-180 day period as required by the law. Only way they would be able to add more projects would be to extend that period.

--- Quote ---I'd like to know how much removing that tall radio tower/whatever it is smack in the middle of the future LA 85 interchange is going to cost. And I assume that most of the shoulderless bridges along the route are going to have to be replaced before the Feds allow I-49 signs to be posted.
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Since the legislation requires that US 90 has to be upgraded to Interstate standards before they can even place I-49 shields on the highway, I assume that the bridges will be widened to meet those standards.

And I assume that that radio tower, since it is within the ROW and would have to be removed to build the overpass structures, would more than likely be moved to another location.  I'm more interested, though, in how they are going to handle that at-grade crossing of that L&DRR rail spur that is just east of the LA 85 intersection...more than likely, they will have to extend the mainline overpasses to cross over the spur...only other option would be to abandon and dismantle it.

--- Quote --- As a stopgap, frontage roads should be constructed in the more developed areas (particularly Lafayette to New Iberia, land of a million curb cuts). US 90 should be expressway grade at minimum outside the urbanized areas. The highway was designed for high speed through travel, not for every suburban strip mall and outhouse to hang their shingle upon.
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The actual roadway from around Broussard to near Franklin was actually built for ultimate upgrade to freeway standards, with adequate ROW for both frontage roads and wide medians for overpasses at certain main intersections. As the sections in St. Mary and Iberia parishes were upgraded, frontage roads are being built to control access to traffic; the last contracts for letting to construct the last of those frontage roads will take place later this year. One way Texas-style frontage roads are planned for the segment through Lafayette Parish, and the existing Evangeline Thruway in Lafayette will act as a frontage road within the city of Lafayette. Frontage roads are also planned for the Wax Lake to Morgan City segment.

As for the Raceland to NO sections: since the proposed roadway will basically parallel US 90 most of the way, that latter road will act as the virtual frontage road, and in the section in New Orleans proper, a one-way access road system will be built for local access. The existing Westbank Expressway frontage system will be extended along with the elevated mainline.

--- Quote ---I sure hope the I-49 project doesn't die on the vine for lack of funding. For a freeway this length, a few billion dollars isn't all that much, though for public funding purposes seems insurmountable. My dream would be to see some entrepeneur bring private capital to the table for this project and prove once and for all that private highways are workable. Given the state of the commercial credit markets nowadays, though, even that seems increasingly unlikely. :no:

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Given the economic and political initiative for the project, and the fact that there is near unaminous support for the project overall, I fail to see how it won't ultimately get funded, by one way or another. If direct public funding through the gas tax doesn't suffice, there's always using a share of the oil revenues from offshore drilling or the "megaprojects" funding that could be used for state matching funding....and as a last resort, the toll option is also on the table.  Though, it would kinda suck due to the fact that I-49 North from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line managed to get full funding as a freeway, and to say to South Louisiana that they have to rely on tolls to fund their project would seem to me quite hypocritical. As for all-private highways: sorry, but the Trans-Texas Corridor fiasco has weaned me of any support for that concept. Besides, US 90 is a public highway which has already been halfway completed as a freeway; why not just take it the distance that way?



--- Quote from: flaroadgeek on January 28, 2009, 11:15:53 PM ---My personal opinion on the whole extension for I-49 south from Lafayette to New Orleans would be to NOT number it I-49, but rather I-6, as the route will pretty much contain an easterly-westerly component.  But as I know the government, we don't regulate any new interstate highways, just extend the existing ones.  If it is even completed, it could be a decade or so before seeing any interstate shields south of I-10.

And by the way, the entire project would cost $5 billion, not trillion as earlier stated.  :-o

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Oh, you and Darkangel and that old saw about the number.... :colorful: :colorful: :poke: :poke: :poke:

I'm not so concerned about the number or the "wrong way" designation, because once I-49 is extended all the way to Kansas City, this small section will be dwarfed by the entire route.

The only way that I could justify the "I-6" (or Froggie's idea of rerouting I-10 along the corridor) would be if the Lafayette Metro (E)Xpressway loop section from I-10 west of Scott to US 90 southeast of Youngsville was incorporated into the project, and that section of I-49 South through Lafayette Parish was built as a seperate project. Otherwise, I could care less if it was designated as long as it gets built sometime within my lifetime.



--- Quote from: flaroadgeek on January 28, 2009, 11:23:31 PM ---I was just reading one of your links and saw that it was billion, not trillion.  Not a big deal.  I'm sure it really doesn't matter to the government nowdays either considering how much this country is in debt.  Of course if they were to just build as a long viaduct for it instead it could reach $5 trillion... :)

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Well,  a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money  :-P


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