Officials promise the proposed elevated I-49 Connector through Lafayette will do more good than harm _lowres


Residents who want to speak out on what a new interstate through Lafayette might look like can share their views at a public forum on Saturday.

The state Department of Transportation and Development will hold a “vision and values” workshop for the proposed Interstate 49 Connector from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Progressive Community Outreach Center on Gallian Street in Lafayette.

Construction of the road is likely years away, but DOTD is in the early stages of design work for the mostly elevated 5.5-mile, six-lane stretch of I-49 South that will pass through Lafayette.

Estimated to cost at least $700 million, it is one of the most expensive segments in the plan to upgrade U.S. 90 to interstate standards from Interstate 10 in Lafayette south to New Orleans.

Local legislators, city-parish officials and the regional economic development group One Acadiana have consistently identified I-49 South as the region’s top transportation priority, but concerns have emerged since DOTD renewed planning efforts last year for a project that has been discussed for decades.

A group called “Y-49” is questioning whether the interstate should even be built through Lafayette, and even some who generally support the connector have questioned DOTD’s preliminary design.

At Saturday’s meeting, residents will be able to view preliminary design ideas for the planned interstate and offer input.

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