DOTD show Pecue Lane expansion plan at meeting Thursday; construction could start by spring 2017 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by Andrea Gallo -- Area residents look at plans for extending Pecue Lane to Interstate 10, Thursday at Woman's Hospital.

More than 150 concerned residents packed into a meeting Thursday about a proposed Pecue Lane/Interstate 10 interchange that will likely force three homes to be relocated.

Department of Transportation and Development officials hope to start construction by spring 2017, provided they can find funding for the $58 million project. The public meeting at Woman's Hospital was filled with people who expressed a combination of excitement for the easier access to the Interstate and worry about how it would affect their homes.

None of the exact impacts of the project are known yet. The design has not been finalized, and it will be months before people know for sure whether they will be forced to relocate.

However, public comment has already played a role in the project 's plans.

Jonathan Charbonnet, city-parish Green Light Plan program manager, said original designs to widen Pecue would have wiped out many more houses. Once residents questioned that decision, the Pecue widening plan was rerouted to a field across the street so as not to impact as many homes.

Check back later for more updates.