Committee working to improve areas surrounding Evangeline Thruway

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Walmart on the Evangeline Thruway will be closing its doors soon due to lack of production.

The Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team is looking to revitalize the neighborhoods around the I-49 Corridor.

The committee was created back in 2014 to try and beautify the area and bring more businesses as well.

It’s the main gateway when you’re driving into the city of Lafayette…

“Our focus is mainly on the neighborhoods surround the I-49 Corridor,” said Skyra Rideaux, Chairwoman of the Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team.

It’s a committee appointed by Lafayette City-Parish Council and the Mayor-President, looking to revitalize the area with a number of projects in mind.

“Making it more walkable, more beautiful, more canopies on street trees and things like that,” said Rideaux.

The team is asking the council for more than $500,000 for various small projects in the area.

“A cultural plaza here at the Clifton Chenier Center, creating maybe a bus of Clifton Chenier, doing some beautification initiatives like planting, some infrastructure improvements, some seating areas,” said Rideaux.

She says simple beautification projects like new sidewalks and more lighting on streets, can drive more direct investment into the area. 

“We’re hoping that our little small catalyst projects creates a whole movement here in lafayette that everyone sees that this area, this urban core is right for reinvestment. We invite developers to come and look at the neighborhoods and talk to teh residents…

With it being such a huge corridor, the team wants to make it more inviting to visitors and to attract the right investors.

“To  make sure that when people come through Lafayette, they say wow, this is a community not only that I want to live in, I want to work in and I want to raise my family in,” said Rideaux.

The more than $500,000  the committee is seeking from the City-Parish Council would fund about 8 to 10 projects.

Rideaux tells News 10 the projects were all decided on by residents through many public meetings, on what improvements they’d like to see made in their community. 

A resolution will go before the Council at their meeting at the end of March.

The committee is hopeful that if the resolution passes, there could potentially be more projects in the area that get funded, on next year’s budget cycle.

If you have any ideas for improvements in the area, visit their website here.

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