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Author Topic: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)  (Read 58998 times)

Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #200 on: November 13, 2019, 01:00:03 PM »

Doing a bump on this because someone asked on a different thread about the progress of I-49 South.

As of right now, everything is in limbo mode. The study for the Lafayette Connector segment that was initiated in 2015 seems to have reached an impasse and has not been updated in nearly 2 years. There was a story last March about LADOTD extending the current I-49LC Supplemental EIS/CSS Design Study until 2021, but there has been no action by anyone involved (LADOTD, FHWA, Lafayette Consolidated Government) since then. Seems like the state has shifted its focus to fixing the I-10 mess in Baton Rouge and funding a second south bridge across the Mississippi River just south of BTR, along with the Loyola Avenue/Louis Armstrong NOLA Airport Access Road project.

Meanwhile, projects on US 90 just south of Lafayette are somewhat progressing, but still rather slow. The Albertsons Parkway/St. Nazaire Road overpass/interchange and mainline widening of the overpass over LA 182 and the BNSF/UP rail line was completed this summer. The next projects down the line would probably be extending the frontage roads over the railroad just south of Albertsons Pkwy (the approaches for the frontage road overpasses of the RR and LA 182 are already built on the north side)  and building the Ambassador Caffery Parkway interchange (currently an at-grade intersection with access to the "Zoosiana", formerly known as the Zoo of Acadiana). The engineering and design are ongoing, but no funding for actual construction as of yet has been found.

Similarly, engineering and design is still taking place for the proposed interchange between US 90 and Verot School Road, but, as with the rest of the proposals, construction funding is still pending.

I'm thinking that people are holding out to see what happens with the gubernatorial election this coming Saturday. I'm guessing that with the prevailing anti-tax sentiments, it's going to be tough sledding to get any revenue for funding Lafayette's segment of I-49 South without major help from the federal government or full tolling, although there will be some attempt to at least raise some revenue through the gasoline tax by 2021.

There was a law that was passed and signed that did give I-49 South a bit of a financial boost, but most of that will probably go into minor projects like removing the at-grade rail crossing at Jeanerette and some crossovers in Iberia Parish, along with funding part of the AmbCaffery interchange.

I'll revive this thread if there are any changes or updates.
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longhorn

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #201 on: November 13, 2019, 04:39:47 PM »

After all of the angst of picking a route through the city, now nothing?
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Gordon

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #202 on: November 14, 2019, 01:21:32 AM »

To Anthony JK, Project: H.010155 US 90 RAILROAD OVERPASS SE OF LA 85,  Construction$25,000,000.00, 2021. this shows up on the STIP for 2021 now. Are they going to settle this as a overpass or a underground pipe and pump the sugar cane under US 90?           
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #203 on: November 14, 2019, 06:26:33 AM »

After all of the angst of picking a route through the city, now nothing?

Not so much nothing; just everything in limbo until they resolve the funding...and probably until after the gubernatorial election.

In spite of efforts of the Sierra Club and the Teche Ridge stans, the current project alignment is essentially etched in stone; the only issue is whether the associated improvements to the Evangeline Thruway corridor (CSS design enhancements, "urban boulevard" improvements, "signature bridge", and asthetic enhancements) would be incorporated further into the project. Also, they have to do an assessment on the former Southern Pacific Railroad railyard property within the Connector's ROW in order to avoid impacting the Chicot Aquifer, which provides Lafayette their drinking water.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #204 on: November 14, 2019, 06:30:46 AM »

To Anthony JK, Project: H.010155 US 90 RAILROAD OVERPASS SE OF LA 85,  Construction$25,000,000.00, 2021. this shows up on the STIP for 2021 now. Are they going to settle this as a overpass or a underground pipe and pump the sugar cane under US 90?           

From everything I've heard, it will be a pipeline and access culvert at ground level under an embanked overpass replacing the railroad spur. The overpass will feature both the main lanes of US 90 and the frontage roads; the railroad will be truncated to east of the original crossing and a transfer plant and holding tank will be built for transferring the molasses to the tank cars for further shipment.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #205 on: November 15, 2019, 02:00:34 PM »

If building the proposed elevated highway in Lafayette proves to be impractical, perhaps they could build Interstate 49 South through Lafayette as a deep-bored tunnel. Although that would greatly jack up the costs, and may even prove impractical for a city the size of Lafayette. Or they could go the route of building an Interstate 49 bypass around Lafayette.
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MikieTimT

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #206 on: November 15, 2019, 02:29:49 PM »

If building the proposed elevated highway in Lafayette proves to be impractical, perhaps they could build Interstate 49 South through Lafayette as a deep-bored tunnel. Although that would greatly jack up the costs, and may even prove impractical for a city the size of Lafayette. Or they could go the route of building an Interstate 49 bypass around Lafayette.

Trouble with going underground in southern Louisiana is water.  Lots of precipitation blowing in from tropical storms, and barely above sea level to begin with.  Elevated is more disaster resistant in that area.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #207 on: November 15, 2019, 04:36:45 PM »

Having never been to any part of Louisiana, I can see how water would be a problem for building roads underground (perhaps that is one reason the elevated Interstate 10 freeway along Claiborne Ave. in New Orleans was not demolished as was proposed in 2010). If the proposed elevated highway in Lafayette is not designed well (aesthetically designed, in my opinion), it could be seen as a barrier and an eyesore (like many other elevated highways built around the country in the past).
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Bobby5280

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #208 on: November 15, 2019, 04:53:16 PM »

I'm pretty sure the proposed design alternatives for the elevated section of the Lafayette Connector have included decorative touches on the bridge structures, along with landscaping, green space, bike paths, lighting, etc. The plans have also included functional and aesthetic improvements for the at-grade SE & SW Evangeline Thruway streets.

Contrast the proposals to the current appearance of that neighborhood. It's already an eye sore with a lot of run down properties and crumbling streets. The I-49 project through there could provide a good facelift for that zone and function as a much more attractive gateway to downtown Lafayette.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #209 on: November 17, 2019, 01:50:18 AM »

Kiss any hope of significant progress to the I-49 South corridor goodbye for the next four years. Edwards has already shown us how he plays favorites to places that vote for him, and he lost Lafayette Parish by a good margin.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #210 on: November 17, 2019, 12:36:48 PM »

Kiss any hope of significant progress to the I-49 South corridor goodbye for the next four years. Edwards has already shown us how he plays favorites to places that vote for him, and he lost Lafayette Parish by a good margin.

I'm not so sure of that. The current head of the LADOTD, Shawn Wilson, is a graduate of ULL (then USL), and was one of the main engineers in the original Lafayette Connector study and CSS design process. Also, the whole of I-49 South is listed as Priority A in the LADOTD Statewide Transportation Plan.

JBE may attempt to jog Lafayette Parish of the LRX outer loop (he did use his line item veto power to deny funding for completing an EIS on that project), but he's not going to shortchange I-49 South....especially since he now has committed funding for the pet projects in Baton Rouge (I-10 widening) and NOLA (Louie Armstrong/NOI Airport Terminal Access Road/Loyola Avenue Interchange.

The main delay is in completing the Supplemental EIS and CSS studies, and then securing the funding for some construction. That may happen by 2021, when there may be another attempt to pass a gas tax increase to fund priority projects.
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jbnv

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Re: I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector (The Ongoing Process To Progress)
« Reply #211 on: November 17, 2019, 08:55:56 PM »

By the way, I got to see the new signage for the "Kathleen Blanco Highway" in Lafayette this week. That part of the thruway is so bumpy. What a legacy to Ms. Blanco.
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