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Author Topic: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update  (Read 1021 times)

Anthony_JK

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Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« on: January 19, 2019, 04:52:27 AM »

While we await the progress of the I-49 Lafayette Connector Supplemental EIS/Conceptual Design process, another major project reached a critical milestone.


LADOTD just announced that the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed tollway loop around Lafayette, the Lafayette Regional (e)Xpressway (LRX) has been published for public review and comment; and that a Public Hearing on the DEIS has been scheduled for Feburary 28th.


This covers the proposal for a tollway loop around the northwestern/western/southwestern/southern perimeter of greater Lafayette, extending from I-49 near Carencro to I-10 west of Scott, to US 167 around Maurice between Lafayette and Abbeville, to US 90/Future I-49 South just north of New Iberia.


The recommended Preferred Alternative (Outer Corridor + Common Corridor 1) generally skirts the outer perimeter of Lafayette, crossing through Lafayette, Iberia, Vermilion, and Acadia parishes. The proposal also includes an extension across US 90 generally overlaying the LA 88 (Coteau Road) interchange to LA 182 south of Cade which would serve a future expansion of Acadiana Regional Airport.


The initial proposal is for a 4-lane (2x2) tollway with intermittent frontage roads using closed ETC/transponder/license taking bill collection methods; with future upgradability to 6-lane (3x3) service. Major system interchanges would be built at I-49 North, I-10, US 167, and US 90/Future I-49 South; local interchanges yet to be determined would also be built.


The original plans also called for a northeast quadrant extending from I-49 North to I-10 east of Lafayette, but that has been eliminated for this study.


A pic of all the proposed LRX options, including the Preferred Alternative, appears below.





Linkage for downloading the DEIS are also available at both the LADOTD site (here) and the LRX official site (here).


Personally, I would love to have them expand this to include incorporating the widely debated Teche Ridge East Bypass in St. Martin Parish and the northeastern quadrant to complete a full loop around Lafayette....but I want the Connector and US 90 to be fully upgraded to Interstate standards FIRST. The LRX needs to be built as a compliment to, not a replacement for, the Connector/US 90 upgrade.




 
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 10:07:18 AM »

This will be a nice and much needed facility. I echo your view on US 90 upgrades.

I am supportive of common one leaning towards the outer loop. Can we get both the inner and out options built? ;)

Hopefully they at least have some sort of idea for the eastern segment. They need not to follow the Oklahoma approach of wait until hundreds neighborhoods pop up left and right require any potential alignment to dodge them or the making it more costly in the long run.
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 10:54:12 AM »

They need not to follow the Oklahoma approach of wait until hundreds neighborhoods pop up left and right require any potential alignment to dodge them or the making it more costly in the long run.

You clearly haven't ever lived in Lafayette. :-D Personally, I think the whole purpose of Teche Ridge alternative was so that the wealthy interests backing it could buy land in that area (if they don't own it already), open it up via the freeway and make big $$$ expanding metro Lafayette into St. Martin Parish.  (I'm skeptical of the Ambassador Caffery extension for the same reason. And Camellia Blvd. could have been built as an exit-less freeway  between Johnston St. and Kaliste Saloom Rd., but the River Ranch investors needed to make money. Et cetera.)
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Bobby5280

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 11:02:04 AM »

That's still quite a bit different than the Oklahoma habit of letting every Tom, Dick and Harry build a bunch of homes and businesses right up on the edge of a road that would need to be widened/upgraded to a super highway in the future. Or letting every Tom, Dick and Harry build a bunch of crap directly in the path of where a new road would logically be extended. That's the Oklahoma way of stupidly goofing up road infrastructure! Zero vision for the future. Only take care of the "good ole boy network" now.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 11:11:17 AM »

^^^^ whatís sad is they have a massive state right below them that has a great model of planning future freeway corridors, or at least better than Oklahoma. You might have heard of them, I think itís called Texas.
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2019, 01:28:33 PM »

^^^^ whatís sad is they have a massive state right below them that has a great model of planning future freeway corridors, or at least better than Oklahoma. You might have heard of them, I think itís called Texas.

If Texas were to conquer Louisiana and shut down our state government, I'd run naked in the streets with joy.
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MikieTimT

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2019, 01:53:34 PM »

^^^^ whatís sad is they have a massive state right below them that has a great model of planning future freeway corridors, or at least better than Oklahoma. You might have heard of them, I think itís called Texas.

If Texas were to conquer Louisiana and shut down our state government, I'd run naked in the streets with joy.

As far as I'm concerned, they can have Arkansas as well.  In fact, let's just make it official and create Arklatexoma and dispense with dealing with the federal govt. on most items of importance! :sombrero:

I will spare the world any image of me running naked through the streets.  Nobody needs that!
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2019, 03:21:05 PM »

I will spare the world any image of me running naked through the streets.  Nobody needs that!

You're right. I shouldn't say that too loudly. It's a detriment to the cause.  :sombrero:
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2019, 03:47:56 PM »

^^^^ whatís sad is they have a massive state right below them that has a great model of planning future freeway corridors, or at least better than Oklahoma. You might have heard of them, I think itís called Texas.

If Texas were to conquer Louisiana and shut down our state government, I'd run naked in the streets with joy.

As far as I'm concerned, they can have Arkansas as well.  In fact, let's just make it official and create Arklatexoma and dispense with dealing with the federal govt. on most items of importance! :sombrero:

I will spare the world any image of me running naked through the streets.  Nobody needs that!
Can we add Oklahoma to that? Iíll join you guys in running naked. I know a few girls that will come as well to make it all the more interesting. It can be the great naked AARoads streak meet of 2019.
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rte66man

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2019, 11:43:09 AM »

That's still quite a bit different than the Oklahoma habit of letting every Tom, Dick and Harry build a bunch of homes and businesses right up on the edge of a road that would need to be widened/upgraded to a super highway in the future. Or letting every Tom, Dick and Harry build a bunch of crap directly in the path of where a new road would logically be extended. That's the Oklahoma way of stupidly goofing up road infrastructure! Zero vision for the future. Only take care of the "good ole boy network" now.

Give me an example of a major road ODOT has built in the last 20 years where they allowed development to encroach on potential future ROW needs.  I'm not referring to existing routes that growth led to the need for capacity increases. 

Please go read the following:
https://www.ok.gov/odot/State_Funding_History.html
Quote
Liottaís efforts, with ODOTís support, also took the politics out of transportation projects. Before the Eight-Year Plan, projects had been traditionally chosen by legislators, which created a political system that favored expansion of the system rather than prioritizing needs of the existing infrastructure. Legislators were removed from the project selection process and the professionals at ODOT were placed in charge of selecting only validated, critical highway projects. It was a major political shift in direction in which legislators voluntarily voted themselves out of the power of choosing projects.
Sure, we would all like to turn back the clock 50+ years and ensure a rational approach. Unless you have a Time Turner of a DeLorean, that ain't gonna happen. It's far past time to quit beating that dead horse.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2019, 03:58:58 PM »

Quote from: rte66man
Give me an example of a major road ODOT has built in the last 20 years where they allowed development to encroach on potential future ROW needs.  I'm not referring to existing routes that growth led to the need for capacity increases.

You know the SW end of the Kilpatrick Turnpike just South of I-40 is arguably the most obvious example. Housing developments were allowed to build directly in the path of where that road was supposed to be extended. ODOT or OTA failed to secure all the right of way needed or get property set-backs needed to reserve the space. Homes and schools popped up all over S Sara Road.

The ultimate plan was to extend the Kilpatrick down thru Mustang then over to Norman. OK-4 got an Interstate quality crossing built over the Canadian River as one piece of that plan. The H.E. Bailey Turnpike extension was another segment. OK-4 from I-44 up to Rock Creek Road has a wide ROW for future turnpike lanes. But that's where the future-proofing of the plan ended, all back in the late 1990's.

Now the Kilpatrick is finally being extended, but only over to Airport Road. And it's having to twist and wind its way around homes and schools that have been built within the past 20 years just to get to Airport Road. Even the H.E. Bailey Turnpike extension is kind of a joke for not going all the way to I-35. The road stops several miles short because of development flanking OK-9 (particularly the big casino).

There's nothing pork-barrel at all about building an outer loop for OKC. It has been obvious for decades metro OKC was going to need something like that eventually. Unlike certain states nearby OK just couldn't plan for it. I might be "beating a dead horse" with this topic. But as long as Oklahoma's planners and policy makers continue to suck at planning ahead for roads I'm sure not going to sugar coat the situation.
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2019, 05:42:21 PM »

Speaking of reserving ROW, and bringing this topic back to LRX: What, if anything, is happening in Lafayette to reserve this ROW and prevent another River Ranch situation?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2019, 09:44:15 PM »

The proposed paths for the toll road looks like it would all be on a new terrain alignment. As far as I can tell there isn't any existing facilities the toll road could built on top of or run parallel. It's not a situation like US-90 where they can confine any new properties behind a minimum distance set-back from the main lanes of the road, or physically confine them behind frontage roads. I think they'll just have to narrow things down to a final alignment (which would probably take a number of years). Until they start actually acquiring property private developers will be free to plop down new commercial or residential properties in the path of the road.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2019, 06:00:58 PM »

They need not to follow the Oklahoma approach of wait until hundreds neighborhoods pop up left and right require any potential alignment to dodge them or the making it more costly in the long run.

You clearly haven't ever lived in Lafayette. :-D Personally, I think the whole purpose of Teche Ridge alternative was so that the wealthy interests backing it could buy land in that area (if they don't own it already), open it up via the freeway and make big $$$ expanding metro Lafayette into St. Martin Parish.  (I'm skeptical of the Ambassador Caffery extension for the same reason. And Camellia Blvd. could have been built as an exit-less freeway  between Johnston St. and Kaliste Saloom Rd., but the River Ranch investors needed to make money. Et cetera.)

Ummm....really??

There is no way Camellia Boulevard can be upgraded to even a 6-lane arterial, heaven forbid a freeway. How would you run it west of Johnston Street? Guilbeau Road??

This week I went to a training class in Broussard for a promotion I got at my job, and got to see the development of St. Nazaire Road. There is more than enough empty land in that corridor and in Broussard and Youngsville for expansion of greater Lafayette; not to mention the land around Carencro and Scott in the western and northwestern portion of the parish.

Ambassador Caffery Parkway was originally developed as an arterial that would not be upgradeable to a freeway, and the perimeter buildout of Lafayette Parish (and surrounding communities like Carencro, Scott, Maurice, Youngsville, and Broussard) has effectively closed the door to any notion of such an upgrade (save for the proposed interchange with US 90/Future I-49 South).

The LRX is designed to be the edge setter of growth in the greater Lafayette area, as well as providing an alternative hurricane evacuation route for Vermilion Parish that would no longer require going through Lafayette proper to get to I-10 and I-49.

I had said previously that there were limits to development along the proposed Teche Ridge bypass due to the proximity of Cypress Swamp and Bayou Teche. My reference to it was only to complete the full loop around Lafayette, and provide complementary support to the US 90/I-49 South/I-49 Lafayette Connector corridor.
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rte66man

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2019, 10:05:19 PM »

Quote from: rte66man
Give me an example of a major road ODOT has built in the last 20 years where they allowed development to encroach on potential future ROW needs.  I'm not referring to existing routes that growth led to the need for capacity increases.

You know the SW end of the Kilpatrick Turnpike just South of I-40 is arguably the most obvious example. Housing developments were allowed to build directly in the path of where that road was supposed to be extended. ODOT or OTA failed to secure all the right of way needed or get property set-backs needed to reserve the space. Homes and schools popped up all over S Sara Road.

The ultimate plan was to extend the Kilpatrick down thru Mustang then over to Norman. OK-4 got an Interstate quality crossing built over the Canadian River as one piece of that plan. The H.E. Bailey Turnpike extension was another segment. OK-4 from I-44 up to Rock Creek Road has a wide ROW for future turnpike lanes. But that's where the future-proofing of the plan ended, all back in the late 1990's.

Now the Kilpatrick is finally being extended, but only over to Airport Road. And it's having to twist and wind its way around homes and schools that have been built within the past 20 years just to get to Airport Road. Even the H.E. Bailey Turnpike extension is kind of a joke for not going all the way to I-35. The road stops several miles short because of development flanking OK-9 (particularly the big casino).

There's nothing pork-barrel at all about building an outer loop for OKC. It has been obvious for decades metro OKC was going to need something like that eventually. Unlike certain states nearby OK just couldn't plan for it. I might be "beating a dead horse" with this topic. But as long as Oklahoma's planners and policy makers continue to suck at planning ahead for roads I'm sure not going to sugar coat the situation.

Go back and reread what I said.  What has ODOT built?  Can you offer any other example than the Kilpatrick SW extension?
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Bobby5280

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2019, 11:30:43 AM »

The extension of Hefner Parkway 2 miles North of the Kilpatrick is the only piece of new-terrain freeway ODOT has built in Oklahoma since the 1990's. That kind of makes your question a trick question of sorts. ODOT is hardly doing anything freeway-related or planning anything at all freeway-related for any of it to be blocked by developers.

ODOT's biggest projects since the 1990's have all been upgrades to existing roads (I-40 in OKC, I-44 in Tulsa & I-35 in Norman). All other new-terrain superhighway projects in Oklahoma have been toll roads. The ones currently being proposed are toll roads. So it's mostly a situation between the OTA and local jurisdictions. In the end it's still a combination of state and local agencies doing a bad job planning for future infrastructure needs.
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2019, 02:44:11 PM »

Ummm....really?? There is no way Camellia Boulevard can be upgraded to even a 6-lane arterial, heaven forbid a freeway. How would you run it west of Johnston Street? Guilbeau Road??

Reread what I actually wrote:

And Camellia Blvd. could have been built as an exit-less freeway  between Johnston St. and Kaliste Saloom Rd., but the River Ranch investors needed to make money.

Camellia Blvd is obviously a done deal that can and will never be upgraded to meet Lafayette's arterial needs. And that's my point: Lafayette keeps missing opportunities to put in needed infrastructure.

Ambassador Caffery Parkway was originally developed as an arterial that would not be upgradeable to a freeway, and the perimeter buildout of Lafayette Parish (and surrounding communities like Carencro, Scott, Maurice, Youngsville, and Broussard) has effectively closed the door to any notion of such an upgrade (save for the proposed interchange with US 90/Future I-49 South).

Again, are you reading what I'm actually writing? I'm talking about the proposal to extend Amb. Caffery north of I-10 to I-49.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2019, 03:02:38 PM »

And you're missing what I was saying.

Camellia Boulevard was never intended to be or going to be a high-volume arterial, let alone a freeway, whether River Ranch or the bridge across the Vermilion River was built or not. In fact, it took overcoming some strong opposition from surrounding neighborhoods to even get Camellia Blvd. across the river to begin with as a 4-lane arterial.

There may have been plans originally to run at least the southern portion of the LRX along the southern Ambassador Caffery Parkway extension; in fact, the original design for the interchange with US 90 did include some directional connector ramps which implied something like a freeway/frontage road setup. That was ultimately rejected in favor of the existing arterial with generally uncontrolled access (though some access management features were incorporated into the final design). There were NO plans to make the northern extension of Ambassador Caffery anything other than a 4-lane arterial, because the LRX tollway was planned to serve as the outer belt freeway. Caffery's main role was to stimulate development along the near perimeter of Lafayette. Even the plan for an interchange between Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Johnston Street was downgraded into a reduced phase/divulging left turn intersection due to ROW constraints and development.

Apparently, Lafayette officials felt that there was really no need for such freeway upgrades other than the I-49 Connector/I-49 South extension along Evangeline Thruway/US 90 and the LRX tollway. Financial constraints and public opposition dictated that strategy. Like it or hate it, it is what it is (until it isn't).
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jbnv

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Re: Lafayette Regional Xpressway Tier 1 Draft EIS Update
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2019, 05:06:02 PM »

You're actually making my point.

Lafayette could have settled so many of these issues by the 1980s by buying into the idea of urban freeways when the federal government was willing and able to pay for them. We could have had an interstate spur connector along the Evangeline Thruway through town. We could have had a loop around the west side about where the Amb. Caffery corridor is now. We could have had a direct arterial connection between Johnston St. and Kaliste Saloom Rd. in the middle of the city.

We don't have any of that because of NIMBYism, small-town mentalities and failure to reserve rights-of-way.

Instead we have congested arteries and belts (Johnston, Amb. Caffery). Instead we have speed traps that slow us down without need (Camellia), adding insult to commuting injury. Instead of a city that attracts business, we have one that offers few economic reasons for its children to stay.

You (Anthony) seem to keep forgetting that I was born in Lafayette, completed most of my schooling there, and still have plenty of family there. Keep assuming I don't know what I'm talking about if you want; doing so will add nothing constructive to these topics.
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