Plans to build I-49 connector bridge through North Lafayette gets mixed reviews from home and business owners

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) People leery about a highway being built near their neighborhood will voice their concerns during a series of public meetings.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) will participate in the sessions being held this week in Lafayette at the public Library.
DOTD wants to get design ideas for the I-49 Connector.

Residents urged to attend virtual I-49 Connector meetings this week — here’s how

Desmond Carter owns a barber shop and salon that could be impacted but the I-49 connector.

Carter has been in the same location along the Thruway for 11 years and says he doesn’t know much about the project, but he likes his current location.

“If we must relocate for any reason, then we can’t find a better location than on the Northside to have a business.  That’s as far as the Evangeline Thruway,” Carter said.

More traffic near his shop offers the chance to round-up more customers.

“More traffic is always better.  It means more revenue to the whole city and local businesses in the area.  Yes, I’m excited about it,” Carter explained.

DOTD information officer Deidra Druilhet says the project will convert 160 miles of the U.S. 90 corridor to interstate standards.

“A part of it includes the 149 connector which would be an elevated section that goes through Lafayette,” Druilhet added.

She says DOTD purchased property to acquire rights-of-way but not over the last year.

The current effort, the meetings, is to get public input.

“It can include anything from the pier shapes, butler walls and the height of the bridge.  Things of that nature,” Druilhet stated.

Felicie Williams says she lives in the Sterling Grove neighborhood and has lived in the same home for the past 23 years.

“Hope I don’t have to sell. If I do, I’m ready,” Williams said.

Williams is ready to talk numbers, but the idea of more traffic near her home isn’t appealing.

“Also, the traffic passing through my neighborhood area.  I’m concerned about that,” Williams added.

Click here for the virtual Zoom attendance to meetings.

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