DOTD holds groundbreaking ceremony for I-49 South in Lafayette Parish
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BROUSSARD, LA – Today, Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas was joined by state and local officials to kick-off the start of the I-49 South project from Ambassador Caffery to Albertsons Parkway along U.S. 90. The event was held at Billeaud Companies, located in Broussard.
Secretary LeBas said, “This project not only demonstrates DOTD’s commitment to completing the I-49 South corridor, but also our continued commitment to improving our state’s infrastructure and promoting economic growth.”
This $57.1 million project involves widening U.S. 90 to six-lanes from Albertson Parkway to north of Ambassador Caffery, constructing a new overpass over Albertson Parkway and new railroad overpass structures, and frontage roads.
The I-49 South corridor project will facilitate economic growth, improve access, reduce future traffic congestion, and improve connectivity throughout the state’s transportation system. Completion of the project will improve the daily commute for workers by decreasing travel time and increasing safety by providing an unhindered flow of traffic. Additionally, these enhancements will allow local governments to evacuate residents easier in the event of a natural disaster.
The state pursued the design-build process to construct the project, which is a particular procurement and contracting method in which the design and construction services are combined and performed by a single entity, “design builder.”
“I know how important the completion of I-49 South is to this area. Corridor projects such as this increase safety, improve evacuation routes and open the door for economic development opportunities,” said State Senator Bret Allain.
The total I-49 south corridor includes approximately 160 miles of roadway, of which more than 100 miles have been completed or are currently under construction. More than $210 million has been dedicated to I-49 South, and the Jindal administration has invested approximately $140.9 million of that funding toward its completion.
The majority of the project will be funded by bonding out state unclaimed property funds. The project was awarded in February 2014 and has an estimated construction time of three years.
“Each project to complete I-49 South is a significant step forward not only for this community, but also for the state of Louisiana,” said Mayor of Broussard Charles Langlinais.
This project will provide improved access to several transportation facilities in the immediate vicinity, including the Lafayette Regional Airport, the Acadiana Regional Airport, the LeMaire Memorial Airport, the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport, the ports of Iberia, West St. Mary and Morgan City, and the Abbeville Harbor and Terminal. Amtrak, the Louisiana & Delta Railroad, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad will also benefit with improved access from this project.
U.S. 90 is already a major industrial corridor in Louisiana, and this project will expand this roadway to allow better highway access for area companies. Major employers in the area who will benefit from the project include Chevron Corporation; Superior Energy Service, Inc.; Offshore Energy Services, Inc.; United Fuels & Lubricants; Viscardi Industrial Services, Inc.; and Baker Hughes.
Since 2008, the Jindal Administration has invested $6.4 billion in more than 7,400 miles of Louisiana’s roadways. This total includes $143 million in transportation projects have been invested in Lafayette Parish.
Additional investments made on I-49 South in Lafayette Parish include these three completed projects:
• A $20 million capacity project which widen U.S. 90 from four lanes to six lanes from Pinhook Road to Broussard.
• A $10.7 million project which built new frontage roads on U.S. 90 at the interchanges of La. 675 and La. 88.
• A $5.8 million project along U.S. 90 between John Darnall Road and La. 85 which also constructed new frontage roads.
“Interstate 49 South is an important corridor, and I am pleased that this project will create better access for the residents, travelers and businesses who use this route each day,” said State Senator Fred Mills.
Senator Page Cortez said, “I would like to applaud Governor Jindal and DOTD’s commitment to providing quality roads for our state. This project is yet another example of how investing in infrastructure is moving Louisiana forward.”
State Representative Taylor Barras added, “I’d like to thank Governor Jindal and his administration for making I-49 South a top priority. This project, along with other I-49 South projects the department has undertaken, is helping to propel Louisiana’s infrastructure into the future.”
“Completing I-49 South is a priority to this area. This corridor will create a safer and more efficient drive for motorists throughout our state,” said State Representative Terry Landry.
“The completion of I-49 South will pave the way for economic growth in this region and will create more efficient movement of goods and services across our state,” said Lafayette Parish President Joey Durel.
Public Information Officer
Department of Transportation and Development