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Author Topic: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)  (Read 50599 times)

Rothman

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #175 on: April 02, 2017, 03:36:46 PM »

What?! Why would they eliminate the sunken freeway option? It's like they want this freeway to get killed. Bad, bad idea...  :thumbdown:

Probably due to sheer expense of sinking the freeway.  Economic feasibility trumps aesthetics.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #176 on: April 02, 2017, 05:34:38 PM »

What?! Why would they eliminate the sunken freeway option? It's like they want this freeway to get killed. Bad, bad idea...  :thumbdown:

To put it simply, the Semi-Depressed option was too expensive, too disruptive, and too much of a potential flooding risk. The cost to implement the Cut-and-Cover option would be nearly twice as much ($818 million) as with the Elevated options ($420 million). LADOTD had said that they would dedicate $700 million to the construction of the Connector; an Elevated option would make it much easier to add the kind of amenities and mitigation to the final design.

In addition, the Depressed options would create a situation where Johnston Street would have to be elevated over the rail line that parallels the freeway, thusly forcing intersections west of there to be raised on structure. The neighborhood affected was recently made an Historic District (Freetown-Port Rico; not related to the existing Sterling Grove Historical District further upstream); the overpass would penetrate that district for 2-3 blocks past the railroad overpass.

Basically, it was a decent idea that didn't turn out so well, given the topography of Lafayette.

Still, some who were hoping for an alternative to the Elevated option will probably turn to the Teche Ridge Bypass as a fallback; I'm not one of them.
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compdude787

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #177 on: April 02, 2017, 06:32:37 PM »

Okay, that makes sense. Thing is, people are probably going to raise hell over building an elevated highway. Everyone's going to freak out about it being like a wall, which to me is like "whatever," but some people are so overly concerned about communities being cut off from one another by freeways and not so much about the benefits freeways bring, like, well... getting from place to place quicker.

I personally wouldn't mind driving on an elevated highway. I think they give you a nice view, though I don't like double-decker viaducts just because of the earthquake risk.

jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #178 on: April 02, 2017, 10:15:53 PM »

Okay, that makes sense. Thing is, people are probably going to raise hell over building an elevated highway. Everyone's going to freak out about it being like a wall, which to me is like "whatever," but some people are so overly concerned about communities being cut off from one another by freeways and not so much about the benefits freeways bring, like, well... getting from place to place quicker.

Keep this in mind: We're talking about a city that is already divided roughly along the corridor. Furthermore, there isn't much reason for townspeople to go to the corridor in question other than to pass through the area. So the idea of this highway dividing the city is moot. The highway actually presents an opportunity to clean up the corridor and make it a destination.

Keep in mind also that most people in the city are already on board with I-49. The dissenters are people who live in the area and a handful of people who use the environment as an excuse to rouse rabble. The latter include some of the city's 1%, including an "environmentalist" who made his fortune selling Cadillacs.
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compdude787

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #179 on: April 03, 2017, 02:08:27 AM »

Okay, that makes sense. Thing is, people are probably going to raise hell over building an elevated highway. Everyone's going to freak out about it being like a wall, which to me is like "whatever," but some people are so overly concerned about communities being cut off from one another by freeways and not so much about the benefits freeways bring, like, well... getting from place to place quicker.

Keep this in mind: We're talking about a city that is already divided roughly along the corridor. Furthermore, there isn't much reason for townspeople to go to the corridor in question other than to pass through the area. So the idea of this highway dividing the city is moot. The highway actually presents an opportunity to clean up the corridor and make it a destination.

Keep in mind also that most people in the city are already on board with I-49. The dissenters are people who live in the area and a handful of people who use the environment as an excuse to rouse rabble. The latter include some of the city's 1%, including an "environmentalist" who made his fortune selling Cadillacs.

Oh, I didn't realize most people in the city already supported I-49 and that the city was already divided along this corridor. And that's funny that that one "environmentalist" sells Cadillacs! :-D What a hypocrite! Reminds me of Leo DiCaprio, who complains about climate change and then has a private jet and a yacht, or Al Gore, whose house uses as much energy as a small town.

Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #180 on: April 03, 2017, 12:25:56 PM »

Okay, that makes sense. Thing is, people are probably going to raise hell over building an elevated highway. Everyone's going to freak out about it being like a wall, which to me is like "whatever," but some people are so overly concerned about communities being cut off from one another by freeways and not so much about the benefits freeways bring, like, well... getting from place to place quicker.

Keep this in mind: We're talking about a city that is already divided roughly along the corridor. Furthermore, there isn't much reason for townspeople to go to the corridor in question other than to pass through the area. So the idea of this highway dividing the city is moot. The highway actually presents an opportunity to clean up the corridor and make it a destination.

Keep in mind also that most people in the city are already on board with I-49. The dissenters are people who live in the area and a handful of people who use the environment as an excuse to rouse rabble. The latter include some of the city's 1%, including an "environmentalist" who made his fortune selling Cadillacs.

You can make a serious case that the surface Evangeline Thruway as a one-way couplet and expressway does more to divide Lafayette through being choked to the brim with traffic than anything else other than the railroad.

Actually, I'd disagree with jbnv on people using the Thruway to bypass Lafayette. Traffic surveys done during the past 10 or 20 years clearly show that nearly 85-90% of the traffic on the Thruway is traffic headed or coming from within the city. Less than 11% of the traffic is using the Thruway to bypass Lafayette entirely.

Also...while the Teche Ridge/Sierra Club lobby (and BTW, Harold Schoeffler is the name of the former auto dealer who's one of the leaders of the anti-Connector opposition) does have its microphone amplified, there is also some who really did want the depressed option on the grounds that it would be more economically productive and would mitigate some of the visual impacts of an elevated highway. It remains to be seen how they will react to being denied that option.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #181 on: April 03, 2017, 02:17:29 PM »

I left the word "currently" out of my statement. Yes, most of the traffic on the Thruway is coming into Lafayette from without or going out of Lafayette from within, as opposed to just passing through. My point was that the corridor currently gives people little reason to be their destination.

Quote from: Anthony_JK
Keep this in mind: We're talking about a city that is already divided roughly along the corridor. Furthermore, there isn't much reason for townspeople to go to the corridor in question other than to pass through the area.

Actually, I'd disagree with jbnv on people using the Thruway to bypass Lafayette. Traffic surveys done during the past 10 or 20 years clearly show that nearly 85-90% of the traffic on the Thruway is traffic headed or coming from within the city. Less than 11% of the traffic is using the Thruway to bypass Lafayette entirely.
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I-39

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #182 on: May 20, 2017, 10:17:36 AM »

So, hypothetically speaking, if this gas tax hike were to pass in Louisiana (which I know is a long shot), would improvements to the I-49 corridor (including this Lafayette Connector) be funded for construction?
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cjk374

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #183 on: May 20, 2017, 04:07:32 PM »

So, hypothetically speaking, if this gas tax hike were to pass in Louisiana (which I know is a long shot), would improvements to the I-49 corridor (including this Lafayette Connector) be funded for construction?

Depends on how they decide to spend the money I guess. I read somewhere that the first year of the new tax, if passed, would bring in close to $510 million. Most likely they would distribute that all over the state in the form of maintenance & upkeep as well as bigger projects like I-49 (both north & south) & the I-10/12/110 cluster. And think about this: the Atchafalaya & Ponchitrain Causeways are old now. That may become bigger projects that out rank I-69.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #184 on: May 21, 2017, 11:55:22 AM »

So, hypothetically speaking, if this gas tax hike were to pass in Louisiana (which I know is a long shot), would improvements to the I-49 corridor (including this Lafayette Connector) be funded for construction?



Depends on how they decide to spend the money I guess. I read somewhere that the first year of the new tax, if passed, would bring in close to $510 million. Most likely they would distribute that all over the state in the form of maintenance & upkeep as well as bigger projects like I-49 (both north & south) & the I-10/12/110 cluster. And think about this: the Atchafalaya & Ponchitrain Causeways are old now. That may become bigger projects that out rank I-69.

I'm thinking that the megaprojects would get first dibs, in which the Lafayette Connector would be first on the list; it is listed as the first project in Priority A to be funded. The segment of US 90 from the LA 308 interchange to west of Des Allemands would also get funded as part of the Priority A list. The US 90 segment from Ricohoc/Wax Lake to Berwick and the portion of the Westbank Expressway from just east of US 90 to the elevated portion near Ames Boulevard in Westwego would be funded as part of the Priority B megaprojects.

I'd also suspect that there would be an attempt to expedite that segment of US 90 south of Lafayette to LA 88, and to finally eliminate that pesky at-grade railroad crossing just south of LA 85 in Jeanerette. They are undecided whether to use an overpass over the railroad or abandon the railroad and build a pipeline to serve that sugar/molasses processing facility.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #185 on: May 21, 2017, 12:19:33 PM »

In other news regarding the Lafayette Connector....


LADOTD recently signed a Supplemental Agreement with the lead consultant agency Stantec for the I-49 Lafayette Connector project Conceptual Design/Concept Refinement/Supplemental Environmental Impact studies which extends their contract to provide engineering and environmental study work for the project until October 2019. The original contract was only for conceptual design and a Reevaluation of the alternative that had been approved in 2003; but because city leaders and Lafayette folk raised plenty hell about that alternative and sought major changes in the design (but not in the general path of the alternative itself), LADOTD was induced to add an analysis of alternative designs. Between that and the changes in leadership and scope and environment that had taken place since the 2003 ROD, it was decided that an Supplemental EIS be undertaken; which would involve more detailed study.


Under the new plan, 6 "hybrid" concepts encompassing the entire length of the corridor would be analyzed under a review of the Tier II evaluation that had already been done for the center core section; those options would then be reduced to 3 finalist alternatives (2 new Supplemental Alternatives and the 2003 ROD Selected Alternative for control/comparison purposes) for the Tier III and SEIS microscopic environmental analysis. A Preferred Supplemental Alternative would then be selected out of the two finalists; that would be sent to Lafayette Consolidated Government and the Acadiana MPO for comment and approval; and then processed as a Draft SEIS for comment, review, and feedback via a Public Hearing sometime near summer or fall of 2018. That would produce a Final SEIS around winter of 2018/2019, followed by a Supplemental ROD, and then detailed CSS design under the original 2015 contract.


The new studies would also reflect some major changes in the environment of the footprint of the Connector corridor, including the induction of the adjacent Freetown-Port Rico neighborhood as an Historic District, the resolution of cleaning up and remediating the old Southern Pacific Railroad classification rail yard site (which has been charged with being contaminated with hazardous waste and could possibly threaten the Chicot Aquifer which serves as the source of Lafayette's drinking water), impacts to the runway approach at Lafayette Regional Airport that cuts right over the path of the freeway, and the program of the Evangeline Corridor Initiative to develop means of further utilizing the project to better connect and integrate the neighborhoods impacted directly.


And, of course, lurking in the background is the Sierra Club, ready to sue to gut the whole thing and reroute I-49 South through their beloved Teche Ridge Bypass in St. Martin Parish.


Interesting times we have.






Update (5-24-17): I've now posted the Supplemental Agreement #2 online via Scribd:


https://www.scribd.com/document/349301042/LADOTD-I49LafConnector-SupplementalAgreement-April-2017


« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 07:40:02 AM by Anthony_JK »
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #186 on: July 22, 2017, 02:54:20 AM »

Since it has been a good while, allow me to do another update on the Connector design study/SEIS process progress.


Last week, the CSS Committees had their first meetings in three months, where LADOTD and the consulting team Lafayette Connector Partners (LCP) gave an update on the status of developing the revised Supplemental EIS alternatives.


A more detailed analysis of the meetings can be found at my Connector blog:


http://redgarterclub.com/RGClubNetwork/buildi49lafayetteconnector/2017/07/15/new-connector-update-tier-iii-lft-changes/


The most significant news that came out of the meetings was the presentation of a major revision to the planned interchange with Kaliste Saloom Road from what was approved in the 2003 Record of Decision.


The original concept, as shown below (from presentation materials now posted at the Lafayette Connector website), used a 3-level fully directional interchange (required due to the need to cross over the BNSF/UP railroad line that parallels US 90/Evangeline Thruway/Future I-49 South). The highest flyover ramp would have been 45 feet above ground level. In addition, an access road would have been built parallel to Kaliste Saloom as a means of connecting KS with Hugh Wallis Road, which runs parallel to the railroad and US 90.









The problem was that the original concept did not take into account the construction of the WoodSprings Suites hotel on Hugh Wallis Road, which cut into the ROW for the access road and the ramp from southbound Connector/southbound Evangeline Thruway to southbound Kaliste Saloom. In addition, the access road connection to KS would take some property from the Episcopal School of Acadiana, which had expanded its campus. Also, many in the community asked whether the traffic counts justified such a high-powered interchange design.


So, as part of the current process, LADOTD and LCP worked on some alternative designs; and the following is what they settled on. Kind of hard to describe it, so maybe call it a 2-level SPUI-T interchange?







The left turn movements now cross each other at-grade (controlled by traffic signals), and the ramp movements are much closer to the original Kaliste Saloom Road ROW. Also, the connection of the access road from KS to HW via what looks like a RIRO setup avoids the hotel property and the ESA access road, with less impacts to driveway access.


Note also how the southbound frontage road is also revised to run in front of the Acadiana Dodge dealership, rather than behind it as was originally proposed.


There was other news involving the design modifications that made it to the Tier III analysis, but that is covered in my blog post.


Bottom line is that possibly by next month they will introduce the 2 finalist End-to-End alternatives that will be studied in the Supplemental EIS (with the original 2003 ROD Selected Alternative included as a control for comparison purposes).



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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #187 on: July 27, 2017, 10:24:29 AM »

One other development that I had missed in my latest update:


At that same series of meetings, LADOTD revealed a brief video sketch of a working animated model showing the revised Connector interchange with Kaliste Saloom Road near Lafayette Regional Airport. It shows how the new 2-level "SPUI T" would work in conjunction with the Connector mainline an frontage roads.


Here is the video (released by LADOTD via YouTube):







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silverback1065

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #188 on: July 27, 2017, 12:16:11 PM »

One other development that I had missed in my latest update:


At that same series of meetings, LADOTD revealed a brief video sketch of a working animated model showing the revised Connector interchange with Kaliste Saloom Road near Lafayette Regional Airport. It shows how the new 2-level "SPUI T" would work in conjunction with the Connector mainline an frontage roads.


Here is the video (released by LADOTD via YouTube):



wow, i've never seen one of those before, it seems more like a diverging t like a diverging diamond
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #189 on: August 10, 2017, 04:22:53 AM »


wow, i've never seen one of those before, it seems more like a diverging t like a diverging diamond

Yeah, that's exactly what it looks like: one half of a diverging diamond, yet elevated to cross over the railroad, Hugh Wallis Road (the road on the west side of the RR opposite of the US 90/Future I-49 ROW) and the Connector mainline.

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sparker

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #190 on: August 11, 2017, 05:20:24 PM »

One other development that I had missed in my latest update:


At that same series of meetings, LADOTD revealed a brief video sketch of a working animated model showing the revised Connector interchange with Kaliste Saloom Road near Lafayette Regional Airport. It shows how the new 2-level "SPUI T" would work in conjunction with the Connector mainline an frontage roads.


Here is the video (released by LADOTD via YouTube):



wow, i've never seen one of those before, it seems more like a diverging t like a diverging diamond

Since the DDI crossing would ostensibly need to be supported by enough bents to accommodate the weight of the vehicles waiting for their green-phase movement, wouldn't a simple stack overpass at that point be at least as advantageous -- and probably entail a similar cost structure to the "half-DDI" arrangement, at least when the expense of the signaling system were calculated into the equation?  This seems like an attempt to install a traffic-control system recently finding favor for its own sake -- the tail wagging the dog, so to speak.  Of course, if the DDI was to be used in place of "ramp meters" -- to eke out traffic onto either the nascent I-49 and/or the intersecting road, that would be another thing altogether.  But unless this is the case, it seems that a simple direct interchange would be optimal here.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #191 on: August 11, 2017, 09:23:30 PM »


Since the DDI crossing would ostensibly need to be supported by enough bents to accommodate the weight of the vehicles waiting for their green-phase movement, wouldn't a simple stack overpass at that point be at least as advantageous -- and probably entail a similar cost structure to the "half-DDI" arrangement, at least when the expense of the signaling system were calculated into the equation?  This seems like an attempt to install a traffic-control system recently finding favor for its own sake -- the tail wagging the dog, so to speak.  Of course, if the DDI was to be used in place of "ramp meters" -- to eke out traffic onto either the nascent I-49 and/or the intersecting road, that would be another thing altogether.  But unless this is the case, it seems that a simple direct interchange would be optimal here.

The original arrangement had called for a simpler 3-level directional stack, but with the ramps from the southbound Connector/frontage road to Kaliste Saloom Road shifted a bit northward. This would have meant a maximum height of at least 40 feet for the highest ramp crossing, and the end of the elevated segment of Kaliste Saloom Rd would have had to be extended as far south as the entrance to the Episcopal School of Acadiana. A connecting road would also have to be built connecting Hugh Wallis Road (the local road that runs parallel to US 90/Future I-49/Connector on the opposite side of the BNSF/UP rail line, on the north side of the rail ROW) and Kaliste Saloom Rd.

Reducing the level of the interchange allowed for a lower height that returned KS to ground level before reaching the access road to the ESA and surrounding properties; allowed for a RIRO connection with the connecting road to Hugh Wallis that can be much closer to the existing KS ROW, avoiding the conflict with a recently built hotel; and eliminated a possible potential conflict with Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) regarding the height of the highest ramp possibly encroaching on the glide path of a runway at LFT.

I'm also assuming that the lower costs of less elevated structure offset the costs of adding the signals to accommodate the 1/2 DDI design.
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sparker

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #192 on: August 12, 2017, 12:56:17 AM »


Since the DDI crossing would ostensibly need to be supported by enough bents to accommodate the weight of the vehicles waiting for their green-phase movement, wouldn't a simple stack overpass at that point be at least as advantageous -- and probably entail a similar cost structure to the "half-DDI" arrangement, at least when the expense of the signaling system were calculated into the equation?  This seems like an attempt to install a traffic-control system recently finding favor for its own sake -- the tail wagging the dog, so to speak.  Of course, if the DDI was to be used in place of "ramp meters" -- to eke out traffic onto either the nascent I-49 and/or the intersecting road, that would be another thing altogether.  But unless this is the case, it seems that a simple direct interchange would be optimal here.

The original arrangement had called for a simpler 3-level directional stack, but with the ramps from the southbound Connector/frontage road to Kaliste Saloom Road shifted a bit northward. This would have meant a maximum height of at least 40 feet for the highest ramp crossing, and the end of the elevated segment of Kaliste Saloom Rd would have had to be extended as far south as the entrance to the Episcopal School of Acadiana. A connecting road would also have to be built connecting Hugh Wallis Road (the local road that runs parallel to US 90/Future I-49/Connector on the opposite side of the BNSF/UP rail line, on the north side of the rail ROW) and Kaliste Saloom Rd.

Reducing the level of the interchange allowed for a lower height that returned KS to ground level before reaching the access road to the ESA and surrounding properties; allowed for a RIRO connection with the connecting road to Hugh Wallis that can be much closer to the existing KS ROW, avoiding the conflict with a recently built hotel; and eliminated a possible potential conflict with Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT) regarding the height of the highest ramp possibly encroaching on the glide path of a runway at LFT.

I'm also assuming that the lower costs of less elevated structure offset the costs of adding the signals to accommodate the 1/2 DDI design.

Thanks for the clarification of the circumstances.  It'll be interesting to see if this design is indeed deployed or whether something else will crop up in the interim! 
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #193 on: August 13, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »

One other development that I had missed in my latest update:


At that same series of meetings, LADOTD revealed a brief video sketch of a working animated model showing the revised Connector interchange with Kaliste Saloom Road near Lafayette Regional Airport. It shows how the new 2-level "SPUI T" would work in conjunction with the Connector mainline an frontage roads.


Here is the video (released by LADOTD via YouTube):



Why does this remind me of a certain interchange in Minnesota?

Mike
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #194 on: September 16, 2017, 11:42:45 AM »

Since it's been a while, here's a new Connector update.


Last week, the CSS Committees met to view the remainder of revisions to the design interchange concepts for the final alternatives for the Connector freeway. Last month, the consultants had introduced the design revisions for the Kaliste Saloom Road interchange; for this meeting, the remainder of the Connector design tweaks were announced.


For brevity's sake, I'll simply give you schematics of both the originally proposed (by the 2003 Record of Decision approved) design and the revisions that were presented last week.






1) University/Surrey to Taft Street (includes Pinhook Road)


Original 2003 Concept:







Revised Concept (Depressed/lowered University/Surrey overpass + Pinhook Road "interchange"





Also, note the reduced phase turn lane on Pinhook approaching the Evangeline Thruway/Connector "interchange".




2) Downtown Core Area (Taft to RR Spur)


Original 2003 ROD Concept:







Revised Concept (no interchanges downtown, continuously elevated, tangent)





The revisions show the Evangeline Thruway converted to a Grand Boulevard; there will also be an option for the Thruway remaining a one-way couplet as presently designed, but with a realignment from Jefferson Boulevard northward in order to move further away from the Sterling Grove Historical District.






Rail Spur to I-10 (including Willow Street Interchange and local crossover access)


Original 2003 ROD Concept





Revised Concept (North connection ramps braided with Willow St. ramps; double roundabout connections)







Full details can be found in my latest blog post over at my Connector blog:


http://redgarterclub.com/RGClubNetwork/buildi49lafayetteconnector/2017/09/16/september-2017-connector-update/


The next steps would be to present the final two End-to-End Alternatives that would be analyzed along with the 2003 ROD Alternative (included for comparison purposes only) in the Supplemental EIS for final approval.


Not everyone was happy with the revisions, however; the Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team lodged a heavy protest that these provisions were too light on provisions for pedestrians and non-vehicular traffic, and it caused some fireworks at the CSS Community Workgroup meeting. This article over at the Lafayette Daily Advertiser provides those details:


http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2017/09/07/interstate-49-connector-designs-offer-little-pedestrians/642306001/

In addition, the Advertiser posted an official editorial chastising LADOTD and the Connector consultants for shirking pedestrians:

http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2017/09/12/sidewalks-bike-lanes-paramount-connector-acceptance/656971001/

As always, further updates as they happen.

« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 11:47:52 AM by Anthony_JK »
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #195 on: October 21, 2017, 05:36:30 AM »

Another Connector update on a milestone reached.

On Thursday, LADOTD and the Lafayette Connector Partners held an Open House Public Meeting to introduce the public to the initial End-to-End Refined Alternatives for the Connector freeway project.

The TL; DR line:

Two concepts will be explored for final analysis and evaluation in the Supplemental EIS:

1) The original design as approved in the 2003 Record of Decision:




2) The revised Base Refinement Alternative



The major changes are:

1) A 2-level elevated Diverging T interchange at Kaliste Saloom Road;
2) A lower profile crossing of University Avenue/Surrey Street near Lafayette Regional Airport in order to avoid the current runway glide approach of Runway 11-29, accomplished by depressing University/Surrey up to 15 feet;
3) Shifting the south connection ramps to the Evangeline Thruway south to create a new interchange at Pinhook Road, with a reduced phase/divergent left turn movement;
4) A continuous elevated mainline freeway with a "tangent" alignment through downtown; no ramps allows for unrestricted connectivity for cross streets underneath;
5) Shifting the north connection ramps to the Evangeline Thruway to north of the rail spur crossing; braided with the south ramps to the Willow Street slip ramp urban diamond interchange;
6) Dogbone roundabouts providing local access on both sides of the Willow interchange to the frontage road system and local streets.

The base alternative assumes that the Evangeline Thruway in the central section near downtown is converted to an urbanized "Grand Boulevard" for local development, and carries a 22' vertical clearance throughout the central section.

Sub-alternatives to the base alternative will also be offered:

SubAlternative M-1 increases the vertical clearance for the central section near downtown to 30 feet; and
SubAlternative E-1 retains the Evangeline Thruway in its current one-way couplet format.

More detail can be found on my latest post to my Connector blog:

http://redgarterclub.com/RGClubNetwork/buildi49lafayetteconnector/2017/10/21/october-update-end-2-end-seis-aternatives-public-meeting/

Also, I promise, the graphics are much more viewable.

« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 05:40:57 AM by Anthony_JK »
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #196 on: February 10, 2018, 12:22:38 PM »

I hope this post will open up the article. Wanting to find something on updates about how the process is going.  www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/02/01/interstate-49-connector-seis-draft-document-may-ready-year/1085551001/
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #197 on: February 10, 2018, 05:23:21 PM »

I hope this post will open up the article. Wanting to find something on updates about how the process is going.  www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/02/01/interstate-49-connector-seis-draft-document-may-ready-year/1085551001/

Sorry for not updating as I usually would.

Basically, after last weeks CSS meetings, the consultants have essentially completed the Corridor Refinement Concept stage of determining alternatives to replace the Selected Alternative approved in the 2003 Final EIS/ROD.

Four alternatives will now advance into detailed analysis in the upcoming Supplemental Draft EIS; they are variations of the Base Refinement Alternative introduced in October of last year.

All the alternatives include interchanges at Willow Street, Pinhook Road, and Kaliste Saloom Road; the main difference is whether the Evangeline Thruway section downtown will be rebuilt in the present form of a one-way couplet or transformed on its southbound ROW into a six-lane "grand boulevard" with the existing northbound Thruway converted back to a 2-way local street.

The most recent meetings introduced a concern about the latest proposal for the north ramp connections to the Thruway. The Base Alternative would have braided these connections with the ramps to Willow Street just north of the Louisiana & Delta Railroad crossing, connecting with a proposed dogbone roundabout accessing Donlon Avenue and the entrance to a local Walmart Supercenter. Some locals, though, thought that would produce some issues of backup so close to the railroad crossing, and was too far away from accessing downtown. A subalternative is now being proposed that shifts the off ramp from the SB mainline to the Thruway further south past the railroad crossing just north of Mudd Avenue.

In addition, one of the original subalternatives planned, which would raise the vertical clearance of the elevated mainline from 22 feet to 30 feet will now be investigated as part of the forgoing CSS design process, and not be considered as a standalone subalternative.

It was also reported that the Executive Committee (which met yesterday) is considering consolidating the process by merging the Community Work Group and Technical Advisory committees, and accelerating the CSS design process in order to expedite the entire SEIS/Corridor Concept Plan. As the article mentioned, the goal is to have a working Draft SEIS published by the end of this year, with a Public Hearing on a final Supplemental Selected Alternative around February of 2019.

Obviously, as more details and graphs of the final alternatives come in, I will provide updates.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #198 on: February 10, 2018, 07:06:58 PM »

Thanks Anthony, that explains it better than the article. I not familiar with the area.
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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #199 on: February 22, 2019, 03:21:55 PM »

It's been a good long while since I've been able to bump this thread because news on this project has been barren at best; but that may about to change.

Here's an article from the Acadiana Advocate (reposted in another thread) where LADOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson provides an update on the renewed status of the I-49 Lafayette Connector project:

https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/article_754f2f50-313b-11e9-abbf-cba22dbd3810.html

The new idea is to extend the contract for developing the Supplemental EIS and CSS processes in March or April so that a final Supplemental Record of Decision can be reached by early or mid 2021.

The concept of an "urban boulevard" using the portion of the Evangeline Thruway between Simcoe Street and Fourteenth Street not directly taken by the elevated freeway is still under consideration.

More details here, of course, as they become available.
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