A committee focused on improving neighborhoods around the Evangeline Thruway is asking the Lafayette City-Parish Council to release more than $525,000 for several small projects, from a statue of the King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier to cultural and historic district signs.

The Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team adopted a resolution Monday requesting release of the money from $550,000 set aside in 2014 for Interstate 49 corridor projects.

“It is there in the bank. All we have to do is write the check,” Neil LeBoeuf, a planner with Lafayette Consolidated Government, said.

A council resolution is needed to release the money.

Instead of spending the $550,000 on one or two larger projects, the team decided to fund more than a dozen smaller, quick-hit projects in each of the neighborhoods around the Evangeline Thruway.

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Projects on the list include 10 public art wraps for traffic boxes; pedestrian-friendly improvements on General Mouton Avenue, including vibrant crosswalks; pedestrian improvements along McKinley Street, including street striping and solar-powered signs that are visible at night; directional signs at the Orange and Surrey Street entrances to Heymann Park; a signature bus stop shelter on Washington Street at Simcoe Street; monument signs identifying Sterling Grove and Freetown/Port Rico as national historic districts; and a monument sign identifying downtown Lafayette as a historic district, which may occur be the end of the year.

The Evangeline Corridor Initiative Plan adopted by the ETRT adopted in 2018 also includes larger, more expensive projects including turning part of Evangeline Thruway into a grand boulevard and intersection improvements on Willow Street.

LCG received a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant to work with neighborhood groups and other residents to develop the plan.

The Thruway, built in the 1960s, divided some of Lafayette’s historic neighborhoods, which then suffered from a lack of economic development. The plan also is designed to offset potential further decay from construction of the pending Interstate 49 Connector.

Acadiana Business Today: Taxable sales in Lafayette Parish in 2018 second-highest on record; Evangeline Thruway team requests $525K for area projects

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @ClaireTaylorTDA.