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Author Topic: I49 in LA  (Read 476031 times)

Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #275 on: June 12, 2012, 01:42:43 PM »

Here is how I would resolve this, if I was LADOTD:

Toll the segment of I-49 South/US 90 from Kaliste Saloom Road near the Lafayette Regional Airport to the LA 14 interchange in New Iberia, converting the frontage roads into "Texas-style" one-way continuous frontage roads and allowing them to carry US 90 local traffic. (This is what is ultimately planned anyway for the segment in Lafayette Parish anyway, I'd just extend that concept through Iberia Parish down to New Iberia.)

Keep the I-49 Connector segment through Lafayette and the US 90 upgrade through Wax Lake/Patterson/Bayou Vista/Berwick as free.

I'd keep the elevated segments of the Raceland through Boutte segment, and toll that; but an alternative would simply be to use and raise existing US 90 above the flood plain and build a bypass of Des Allemands and Paradis, crossing existing US 90 between Paradis and Boutte, just before the connection with LA 3127/I-310.

Find a way to use the existing connection with LA 3127/I-310 rather than build a more direct standalone connection with I-310, maybe using the existing I-55/I-10/US 51 interchange as a template.

Use existing US 90 rather than a seperate elevated section between Willowdale and Avondale, with service roads and intermentent grade seperated overpasses. I'd add an interchange with South Kenner Road for local access, and frontage roads to access the oil fields and the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office.

Of course, LADOTD won't be soliciting my views any time soon...
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Grzrd

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #276 on: June 14, 2012, 02:56:10 PM »

The real issues with a PPP, especially one funded through tolls, is that it will be perceived as a double tax ... Plus, it could revive some of the original opposition to the original I-49 Connector project that favored the "Teche Ridge" eastern bypass alternative through St. Martin Parish as a less expensive alternative.

Page 3/3 of this article indicates that the opposition is beginning to stir:

Quote
State Rep. Truck Gisclair, D-Larose, said he is against the toll. He said politicians in the Lafayette area are driving up costs of the project by demanding it go through Lafayette instead of around the city before connecting with the existing section of Interstate 49 that links Lafayette and Shreveport.
“The local politicians there are driving the costs out of the ballpark,” Gisclair said.

Starting an environmental study for a different Lafayette routing would really speed things up ...  X-(
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #277 on: June 14, 2012, 07:18:49 PM »

The real issues with a PPP, especially one funded through tolls, is that it will be perceived as a double tax ... Plus, it could revive some of the original opposition to the original I-49 Connector project that favored the "Teche Ridge" eastern bypass alternative through St. Martin Parish as a less expensive alternative.

Page 3/3 of this article indicates that the opposition is beginning to stir:

Quote
State Rep. Truck Gisclair, D-Larose, said he is against the toll. He said politicians in the Lafayette area are driving up costs of the project by demanding it go through Lafayette instead of around the city before connecting with the existing section of Interstate 49 that links Lafayette and Shreveport.
“The local politicians there are driving the costs out of the ballpark,” Gisclair said.

Starting an environmental study for a different Lafayette routing would really speed things up ...  X-(
It's Louisiana, when things go fast, something illegal is happening.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #278 on: June 14, 2012, 10:03:08 PM »

The real issues with a PPP, especially one funded through tolls, is that it will be perceived as a double tax ... Plus, it could revive some of the original opposition to the original I-49 Connector project that favored the "Teche Ridge" eastern bypass alternative through St. Martin Parish as a less expensive alternative.

Page 3/3 of this article indicates that the opposition is beginning to stir:

Quote
State Rep. Truck Gisclair, D-Larose, said he is against the toll. He said politicians in the Lafayette area are driving up costs of the project by demanding it go through Lafayette instead of around the city before connecting with the existing section of Interstate 49 that links Lafayette and Shreveport.
“The local politicians there are driving the costs out of the ballpark,” Gisclair said.

Starting an environmental study for a different Lafayette routing would really speed things up ...  X-(
It's Louisiana, when things go fast, something illegal is happening.

I hate to break it to Mr. Gisclair, but the Feds simply aren't going to go along with any routing of I-49 South that doesn't use the Evangeline Thruway/US 90 corridor.

And Teche Ridge is a non starter, because it would have to go through some prime farmland, it would require rerouting and redesignating that section of I-49 between I-10 and the northern terminus of any eastern bypass, and it would not remove any bit of traffic from the US 90/Evangeline Thruway. And that's with a freeway, before the tolls kick in.

Also, the original I-49 EIS study completed in 2003 found that a freeway along the Teche Ridge alternative route would cost something like $600 million, pretty much a wash compared to the Evangeline Thruway/US 90 corridor. How much would that convert to in 2012 dollars??
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Grzrd

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"Substantial Completion" of I-49 South by 2023?
« Reply #279 on: June 19, 2012, 08:33:20 PM »

This article, about potential tolling of US 90 to fund I-49 South, indicates that "funding permitting", I-49 South should be substantially completed in all areas, except those near New Orleans, by 2017, and that the sections near New Orleans should see "substantial completion" by 2023:

Quote
.... The final cost of completing I-49 is $5 billion, according to the state Department of Transportation and Development .... DOTD spokeswoman Deidra Lockhart said the state is re-examining the scope of the project “in an effort to reduce cost.” Portions closer to New Orleans may be put on the backburner for several years, Lockhart said.
Once funding is secured, I-49 South should be substantially complete in 2017 in all areas except those near the Crescent City, she said. For those areas substantial completion should come in 2023, “funding permitting,”
she said.
Meanwhile, Lafayette has long made a push to finish I-49 South in and around its city limits. HNTB Corp., an engineering, construction and planning firm has been conducting studies for the Lafayette Metropolitan Expressway Commission. The firm finished a toll feasibility analysis recently, collecting data from late 2010 through the early part of this year, said David Flanders, vice president.
The study looked at tolls along an 18-mile stretch from Lafayette to the Acadiana Regional Airport exit and a 36-mile stretch from Lafayette to Iberia Parish’s southern border, Flanders said.
The study did not factor in how many tolls or where they would be located. It did, however, conclude that a charge of about 16 cents per mile for passenger vehicles would fund about 50 percent of construction on I-49 South on those two stretches.

Substantial completion of the I-49 Connector by 2017? I don't know what LaDOTD is smoking, but ...
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #280 on: June 19, 2012, 10:09:10 PM »

Actually, Griz, it's not that far fetched, because most of the planning and design for the segments of I-49 South in Lafayette Parish is basically a done deal, and the city of Lafayette is already in the process of slowly buying up the ROW. Once funding is resolved, it should be a smooth and quick process to actual construction.

In Iberia and St. Mary Parishes, other than the segment from Wax Lake Outlet east through Patterson and Bayou Vista to Berwick, I-49 is essentially complete, with only the frontage roads between LA 668 and LA 85, the frontage roads between John Darnell Rd. and LA 85, the grade seperation of the L&DRR spur just south of the LA 85 interchange, and interchanges with LA 318 and LA 182 at Ricohoc just west of the Wax Lake Outlet bridge to be built. Once those are completed, and they resolve the funding for the Lafayette/Lafayette Parish segments, I-49 South will be functionally complete from Lafayette to Raceland. Five years may be pushing it a bit, but at least it seems doable.

The Raceland to New Orleans segment, on the other hand, won't be so easy..especially if they insist on fully elevating the entire route. Completing the Westbank Expressway upgrade all the way to US 90 and upgrading US 90 through Avondale, along with an improved interchange between the WBX and US 90 should be the first priority, since that would go a long way to completing the NOLA system and complement the Huey P. Long Bridge imporovements. From there westward, though, is a crapshoot because of the need to connect seamlessly with I-310 and bypass Boutte/Mimosa Park, bypass Des Allemands and find a way to cross Bayou Des Allemands and Dufrene Ponds, and cross the low lying Barataria Basin. Using the existing US 90 footprint wherever possible and adding frontage roads for local access could save them some $$$, but it still will be an expensive endeavor.

I wonder whether or not the idea of just truncating the extension by using I-310 to I-10 W of Kenner got any traction?


Anthony
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 12:16:52 AM by Anthony_JK »
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mcdonaat

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #281 on: June 19, 2012, 10:17:16 PM »

I agree with using I-310. The Interstate is already there, so why not use it? The stub ramps are even there too.

Grzrd

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I-49 North Segment K Construction to Begin in September 2013?
« Reply #282 on: June 21, 2012, 07:41:17 PM »

Quote
Segment K: The final section of the project from Martin Luther King Boulevard that will connect with Interstate 220 carries an estimated cost of $70 million to $100 million. The project is scheduled to go out for bids in late 2013.

The timetable for Segment K construction may be moving up slightly. This article indicates that funding has been secured for I-49 North Segment K, but LaDOTD is investigating getting a loan that would have better payback conditions than with the issuance of bonds.  Construction may possibly begin in September 2013:

Quote
Funding is available to construct another stretch of I-49 but work won’t start for another 15 months.
Lawmakers in the legislative session that ended June 4 cleared the way to use unclaimed property in the state treasury to finance bonds to construct a section identified on Department of Transportation and Development maps as Section K.
It’s located just north of Interstate 220 in Shreveport.
Using unclaimed property, which piles up every year, was the brainchild of Treasurer John Kennedy.
DOTD Undersecretary Michael Bridges told the State Bond Commission Thursday that “we’re not going to need the money until next fall,” possibly September 2013.
The original plan was to begin construction on the segment in 2011.
Bridges said DOTD is working on getting a loan through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, which has “generous terms” and could offer better payback conditions than issuing bonds.
He said the state could utilize the money Kennedy has placed in an unclaimed property fund as the state’s portion to secure the TIFIA loan.

it's not that far fetched, because most of the planning and design for the segments of I-49 South in Lafayette Parish is basically a done deal, and the city of Lafayette is already in the process of slowly buying up the ROW. Once funding is resolved, it should be a smooth and quick process to actual construction.
Anthony

The article also addresses the possibility of I-49 going through Lafayette and Shreveport, and reflects Anthony's observations about Lafayette:

Quote
Asked after the meeting about the expensive segments of I-49, going through the cities of Shreveport and Lafayette, Bridges said those projects aren’t too close to being constructed.
However, he said, “Lafayette is just a matter of funding. The environmental process is done. Shreveport is a matter of environmental and funding.”

Momentum seems to be building in Louisiana ...
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 07:47:27 PM by Grzrd »
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Grzrd

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Would It Be "Logical" to Immediately Sign I-49 South?
« Reply #283 on: July 01, 2012, 06:34:25 PM »

Quote
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s office said in February that more than 100 miles of the 156-mile I-49 south corridor have been brought up to interstate standards.

In this thread, I argue that a provision in the new highway bill allows interstate-grade segments of highway that are not currently connected to the current interstate system to nevertheless receive the interstate shield as a "logical addition" to the interstate system.

I first thought that signing the more than 100 miles of interstate-grade highway in the I-49 South corridor would be a "logical addition" to the system because approximately two-thirds of the corridor has been completed.  Then, two other thoughts came to mind: (1) the cost to build the less-than-56 remaining miles of the corridor, and (2) how long it will take to build the less-than-56 remaining miles:

This article indicates that at least three major studies are progressing: (1) LaDOTD's study of tolling all of I-49 South, (2) the Lafayette Metropolitan Expressway Commission's study of tolling a shorter section of I-49 South in the Lafayette area, and (3) LaDOTD's study of how to lower the projected cost of the Raceland to Westbank Expressway section
It will be a hard sell to South Louisiana lawmakers precisely because of the regional split...and the notion that I-49 North was built free but US 90 will have to be converted to toll to build I-49 South.
This article, about potential tolling of US 90 to fund I-49 South, indicates that "funding permitting", I-49 South should be substantially completed in all areas, except those near New Orleans, by 2017, and that the sections near New Orleans should see "substantial completion" by 2023
Quote
.... The final cost of completing I-49 is $5 billion, according to the state Department of Transportation and Development .... DOTD spokeswoman Deidra Lockhart said the state is re-examining the scope of the project “in an effort to reduce cost."

With tolls, I-49 South might see substantial completion by 2023.  Without tolls, who knows if and when I-49 South would be completed?  In short, I can only see I-49 South as a "logical addition" for the purpose of immediate I-49 signage if the tolls are approved for all of I-49 South (for the same reason, I do not think the Westbank Expressway would be a "logical connection" until such a time, also).  Otherwise, there is a significant possibility that it will never be completed.

[mods - since this is application of a new statute to the currently existing US 90, I did not think that this post needed to be relegated to the fictional ghetto  :sombrero:
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #284 on: July 02, 2012, 12:11:00 AM »

Well...if they decide to build the segments of I-49 through Lafayette Parish and complete the segments to Morgan City, you could actually make a decent case for planting I-49 shields along US 90 probably as far as Raceland. I mean, if US 77 is allowed to get I-69 shields (even though that segment isn't even considered to be the main segment of that project), then why can't US 90 get the same treatment??
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Grzrd

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #285 on: July 03, 2012, 12:58:39 PM »

Well...if they decide to build the segments of I-49 through Lafayette Parish and complete the segments to Morgan City, you could actually make a decent case for planting I-49 shields along US 90 probably as far as Raceland.

You raise an interesting scenario. Assuming the Raceland to Westbank Expresswy segment were left to be built at some undetermined time in the future, I agree that you could make the case for immediate interstate signage (assuming the local tolls are imposed for construction of Lafayette's I-49 Connector) for the Lafayette to Raceland segment as a "logical addition".  However, I think FHWA/AASHTO would then still have to make the following decision about the number of that segment:

(1) follow the I-26 example and sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as an I-49 "extension'; or

(2) sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as an "I-x49" spur until resolution is achieved regarding the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment; or

(3) as a distant third option, sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as "I-6" to create a short-distance 2di (1di?) cousin to I-12 that could eventually be extended along the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment (this might be an option if Louisiana is currently not allowed to sign the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment as "Future I-49", and avoid confusion to the traveling public, in the absence of a written agreement that the Raceland to Westbank Expressway will be finished within 25 years)?

My guess is that they would follow the I-26 example and stick with I-49.
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mcdonaat

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #286 on: July 03, 2012, 10:30:29 PM »

I would MUCH rather I-6. It gives an east-west route, and would probably get the most approval from AASHTO. In fact, extend I-6 on a bypass around Lafayette to meet I-10, and extend I-49 south to meet I-6. This can create a network of highways for Acadiana, and hopefully spur some economic growth other than malls and River Ranches. :P

Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #287 on: July 03, 2012, 11:57:15 PM »

I would MUCH rather I-6. It gives an east-west route, and would probably get the most approval from AASHTO. In fact, extend I-6 on a bypass around Lafayette to meet I-10, and extend I-49 south to meet I-6. This can create a network of highways for Acadiana, and hopefully spur some economic growth other than malls and River Ranches. :P

If the Lafayette Metro Expressway toll loop is built around Lafayette, then I would have no problem with that scenario. In fact, that's also Froggie's proposal (although he would use I-10 for that segment, and extend I-12 west along existing I-10).

However, I would go further and create a full loop around Lafayette using both the LMX and the Teche Ridge bypass on the east side. In that case, I'd retain I-49 South as originally obtained, and then make the full loop I-449.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #288 on: July 04, 2012, 12:06:38 AM »

Well...if they decide to build the segments of I-49 through Lafayette Parish and complete the segments to Morgan City, you could actually make a decent case for planting I-49 shields along US 90 probably as far as Raceland.

You raise an interesting scenario. Assuming the Raceland to Westbank Expresswy segment were left to be built at some undetermined time in the future, I agree that you could make the case for immediate interstate signage (assuming the local tolls are imposed for construction of Lafayette's I-49 Connector) for the Lafayette to Raceland segment as a "logical addition".  However, I think FHWA/AASHTO would then still have to make the following decision about the number of that segment:

(1) follow the I-26 example and sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as an I-49 "extension'; or

(2) sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as an "I-x49" spur until resolution is achieved regarding the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment; or

(3) as a distant third option, sign the Lafayette to Raceland segment as "I-6" to create a short-distance 2di (1di?) cousin to I-12 that could eventually be extended along the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment (this might be an option if Louisiana is currently not allowed to sign the Raceland to Westbank Expressway segment as "Future I-49", and avoid confusion to the traveling public, in the absence of a written agreement that the Raceland to Westbank Expressway will be finished within 25 years)?

My guess is that they would follow the I-26 example and stick with I-49.

There are also two other scenarios:

4) Keep I-49, but truncate it by only building the segment from Raceland to I-310, then convert I-310 to I-49 to end at I-10 west of Kenner, and then call it a day by just ignoring the segment between Boutte and the Westbank Expressway.

5) Scenaio #4, make it an I-6 or a redefined I-10.

A variation of this would complete the upgrade of the Westbank Expressway to US 90 in Allendale as the already approved and unsigned I-910 (but adding the signs). Heck, you could go even further by ultimately adding the US 90 upgrade between I-310 and Avondale and possibly making it an I-x10 or I-x49 (or even an I-x06).
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 09:39:41 AM by Anthony_JK »
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mcdonaat

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #289 on: July 04, 2012, 12:47:35 AM »

A resigned I-10 wouldn't be bad at all, except for the current alignment of I-10 between Laplace and Baton Rouge. I could see it stamped with the designation of I-255, since it would connect I-55 to I-12. I-55 would be extended to New Orleans, to meet with I-10 at the I-310/10 interchange. I-310 could be shifted onto I-910. Just my little dream for the future I-6 corridor! I would also advocate removing the I-510 designation, since it's signed along with LA 47 (Paris Road).

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #290 on: July 04, 2012, 02:13:39 AM »

I know this is off topic but with all the road construction going on in Lafayette and cities/towns south of there, has it had any negative impacts on businesses in the area?
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mcdonaat

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #291 on: July 04, 2012, 03:26:18 PM »

Actually, I think it has had a positive influence. The two or three minute boosts in travel time for oil rig companies using the Future I-6 corridor (as I call it) have improved overall travel, and it looks like a positive overall impact. Lafayette seems to be, in my opinion, growing along the I-10 corridor, with the shopping center on Louisiana Avenue being a recent project.

Negative? I would have to say no negative things have come up for business.

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #292 on: July 04, 2012, 11:37:42 PM »

It won't be I-6, nor should it be, and there will be no renumbering of I-10.  Can we please keep that stuff to the fictional highways board?
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mcdonaat

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #293 on: July 04, 2012, 11:58:20 PM »

It shouldn't be I-49 either!!! U.S. 90 is perfectly fine, maybe even I-149.

I do have an update. In my tons of emails with DOTD officials, NONE of them refer to the project as I-49 South. The plans for intersections show US 90 instead of Future I-49, and I was told to refer to I-49 South as US 90. I've been told its too confusing to resign I-49 with exit tabs in the place of current signs, and that 310 is never going to be extended. And this is coming from someone that's worked for the DOTD for 40+ years.

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #294 on: July 05, 2012, 07:22:23 AM »

I swear I saw several state-mounted Future I-49 Corridor signs on U.S. 90 the last time I was in New Orleans, about five years ago. Maybe the state did change its mind. Hmmmm.
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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #295 on: July 05, 2012, 09:41:58 AM »

As of Memorial Day 2012, they still have the Future I-49 corridor signs up along US 90. They are occasionally signed from just east of Lafayette all the way through to I-310.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #296 on: July 05, 2012, 10:00:12 AM »

It shouldn't be I-49 either!!! U.S. 90 is perfectly fine, maybe even I-149.

I do have an update. In my tons of emails with DOTD officials, NONE of them refer to the project as I-49 South. The plans for intersections show US 90 instead of Future I-49, and I was told to refer to I-49 South as US 90. I've been told its too confusing to resign I-49 with exit tabs in the place of current signs, and that 310 is never going to be extended. And this is coming from someone that's worked for the DOTD for 40+ years.

Funny...Missouri seems to have no problem putting exit tabs on US 71 in their conversion to I-49.

Of course, I-310's not going to be extended, because that was a portion of the old Dixie Freeway loop ("I-410") around New Orleans proper that was to also include I-510.

Three...If they are going to keep US 90 and not put in I-49 shields, then how in the hell are they going to sign the freeway through Lafayette, then?? Last time I checked, it's still called the I-49 Connector.

And yes, for right now, the plans will say US 90, because they still have to resolve the issue of funding. If this becomes a 90 Fed/10 State funded upgrade, though, there's no way they can justify not placing Interstate shields on a 143-mile extension. Sorry, but I-149 will not cut it. If it is bullt, it will be an extension of I-49..or it won't be built at all.
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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #297 on: July 05, 2012, 06:11:22 PM »

The most likely scenario that I see is making the segment a connector, naming it US 90 Bypass, and leaving it to connect. The extension of I-49 through Lafayette is a possibility, ending at a Lafayette Loop, signed as I-410. I would even say its possible to name the road I-410, with I-10 creating a loop to US 90 near Broussard, then north along the Thruway. I could even assume that the best strategy is to sign that section as I-410 for the 90/10 funding, to connect 90 to 10 :P

As far as one number, people driving through Lafayette won't really pay attention to the numbers. A trip through NO means 10-610-10, Baton Rouge is 10-12. Sign it as Spur US 90 if you must have one number. Send US 90 down Pinhook again, letting it meet up south of Lafayette.

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #298 on: July 06, 2012, 02:38:23 AM »

I would leave I-10 signed as it is currently. My pipe dream proposal would be to extend I-55 southward by multiplexing it with I-10 and renumbering I-310 as I-55! You can also do this with I-59 by multiplexing it with I-10 and renumbering I-510 as I-59 and extending it southward to meet up with future I-49. This would require another Mississippi River Bridge that is tall enough to allow the tallest cruise ships to pass underneath. The proposed bridge would also be tolled Eastbank bound similar to the Crescent City Connection (CCC).

Toll collection on the on the CCC is set to expire early next year and I live in the three Parish area where this is being put to the voters this Fall. I would only vote to renew the tolls on the CCC bridge for another 20 years if the proceeds would be dedicated towards converting the remaining 4 miles of the Westbank Expressway to a full freeway thus upgrading more of future I-49.
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Gordon

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Re: I49 in LA
« Reply #299 on: July 06, 2012, 09:22:21 PM »

In the letting of construction in the next 6 months LA DOTD has a job 455-09-0026 for 9/12/12 for signs and misc. for segments A thru D. What will the Sign say I 49 or what sense it will not connect to I 220 or Arkansas as a Interstate?
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