St. Landry citizen views sought on I-49 plan

Monday, August 31, 2020

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The first phase of a master plan looking at the future of the I-49 corridor between the I-10 and I-49 intersection in Lafayette Parish and Exit 27 just north of Washington should be ready in October and St. Landry citizens are being asked to help decide what should be in it..

The I-49 Midway Corridor project will take a comprehensive look at the 12 interchanges in the corridor to “evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities,” according to St. Landry economic development director Bill Rodier.

The public is invited to participate in that planning at a “visioning meeting” from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. August 5 at the St. Landry Economic Development offices, 5367 I-49 S. Service Road in Opelousas. A box meal will be provided.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, in-person attendance requires an RSVP sent to Katrena King at kking@planacadiana.org or by calling 896-9365. The same contact information can be used to inquire about virtual attendance.

King recently took over guidance of the project at the Acadiana Planning District, lead agency on the project, and hopes to have Phase I completed within the next several months.  She replaces Mike Hollier, who has retired.

Planners will take a comprehensive look at frontage road capacity, the future capacity of the Interstate itself, and the potential for interchanges in the corridor to “evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities,” according to Rodier.

The August 5 meeting will gather input from citizens in communities and unincorporated areas in the corridor affected by the plan. “The information will help key the plan to the needs and wishes of the people most directly affected,” Rodier said.

Some of it will be incorporated into a virtual portal accessible on the web to put all of the important data about the project in one place.

The interchanges involved are  the Pont de Mouton and Gloria Switch interchanges in Lafayette; Hector Connolly Road in Carencro; Highway 182, just north of Carencro; the Sunset-Grand Coteau interchange; Harry Guilbeau Road, Judson Walsh Road, Creswell Lane, and Highway 190 interchanges in Opelousas; the Nuba-Highway 167 interchange north of Opelousas; the Highway 103 interchange at Washington; and Highway 182-Lebeau interchange north of Washington.

Among the goals of the plan are to foster collaboration among the communities in the corridor, form an overall vision of what sustainable development can include, and bring increased awareness of the opportunities within the corridor, planners said.

King is preparing an intergovernmental agreement to be adopted by the public entities involved to assure that “everyone is working together on this.”

 “A master plan will help tie communities in the corridor into a bigger picture so people are more aware of who they are and what they have to offer. It will also highlight the uniqueness that needs to be preserved as St. Landry Parish looks towards the future,” he said.

He noted that planners have already determined that “transportation access, land use, sewer, finance, water, transit, fiber optics, work force availability and training options, electrical power grid, and aesthetic and even cultural advantages are readily available” within the corridor. They also noted that quality of life is important to businesses and their employees and that “the I-49 Midway has it across all levels of interest and need.”              `          

 “This planning effort will help us to more fully grasp the opportunities available to us, and could be a significant boon for the towns at the heart of our parish.,” he said.

Three things to know about this story:

  • The public is invited to participate in that planning at a “visioning meeting” from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. August 5 at the St. Landry Economic Development offices,
  • The information will help key the plan to the needs and wishes of the people most directly affected.
  • A master plan will help tie communities in the corridor into a bigger picture so people are more aware of who they are and what they have to offer.

Category: I49 Corridor

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