I-49 Midway Corridor Strategic Growth Plan
The I-49 Midway Corridor is halfway between New Orleans and Shreveport, connecting communities throughout Louisiana with Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. This creates significant opportunities for communities within the region to attract investment and business expansion projects.
The Challenge – Much of the focus on transportation in Acadiana is geared towards playing catch up in areas south of I-10 to try and make up for decades of planning and investment in transportation infrastructure. The tide of growth continues to turn in Acadiana with development moving to the north. I-49 North forms the backbone of the infrastructure for this growth. Unfortunately, there are no serious efforts underway to proactively look at and plan forAcadiana’s northern growth corridor along I-49.
The Solution – I-49 Midway Corridor Strategic Growth Plan –The scope of this plan would encompass a multi-jurisdictional effort that looks at the future of the I-49 Corridor beginning at the I-10 –I-49 intersection and proceeding north toExit27in St. Landry Parish. The scope of the plan would include some of the following overarching objectives:Gather existing plans/phase studies done on any/all portions of the I-49 corridor and put into a consolidated geographic format listing that runs from south to north through the plan area. Take a comprehensive look at each major intersection on the I-49 Corridor, which with the listed boundaries would include ten off/on ramp interchanges. Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities associated with each interchange. Identify the needs for infrastructure improvement at each interchange, put on cost on the improvement and prioritize the need.Evaluate the frontage roads through the entire geographic study area. Identify where land use exists, where it is absent and where it needs to be upgraded and by which governing authority. Evaluate blighted, or eyesore priorities that should be addressed. Provide an assessment on highest and best use of available frontage property. Evaluate the future growth of the corridor, which should lead to a long-term plan that prioritizes a project to add additional lanes to I-49 through a phased process.
The Process – Discussions have been held with some relevant public and private sector parties and there seems to be sufficient interest move forward with further feasibility vetting.Once in agreement, there must be a lead entity identified that would assume that applicant/administer/compliance role in a what would likely be a federal grant program that is utilized to pay for all, or a prorated percentage of the project.
Cost Estimates - Preliminary cost estimates on this project are 500K, with timeline estimate of 9-12 months.