Concerns Voiced by Participants of the Jan. 21 Y-49? meeting

Sierra Club Acadian Group Y-49 meeting, Jan 21, 2016

Summary of questions and concerns from public comments regarding the proposed I-49 connector through Lafayette

How big is the hazardous waste area, how much overlap is there with the I-49 project area? Is there a comprehensive study that identifies the pollutants and hazardous wastes from the railyard and Grant St. power plant that are in the soil and groundwater. What specific plans are there for cleanup of hazardous wastes before property acquisition and construction of the I-49 connector?

Many questions showed that there is confusion about what is decided, what can still be changed and what the process would be for changing the project preliminary design. Can an alternative route or bypass be considered?

Questions showed concern about the impact of an elevated expressway on Lafayette. Would it help to move traffic within the City? What will be the safety, noise and local economic impacts?

 An elevated expressway built as a literal translation of the Record of Decision (ROD) would be a structure that is 22 ft high, 150 ft wide, with all concrete underneath. We are told that the final design does not have to be exactly like that. We have heard that elevated expressway can be an enhancement, be attractive. Where can we go to see that?

What happens to historic houses/buildings – Is there a process to relocate historic houses/buildings? Where do they go?

Will relocation of airport runways require filling of wetlands. What are the effects on the hydrology if we have to fill in part of Black Bayou and the Cypress Island Swamp?  Will this loss of what is now a collector of flood waters mean flooding downstream during high water/rains ? Who pays the costs of airport facility relocations?

What would be the plan for a major hurricane evacuation while the connector is under construction? Would it make sense to have an alternative route that would give us more lanes to evacuate on in addition to the existing three lanes on the Evangeline Thruway?


Questions and Concerns, Jan 21, 2016 Acadian Group Y-49 open meeting


  • What is the plan for on/off ramps and frontage roads. What is the whole footprint?
  • The planning model being used is 50 years old, we don’t have the money, it is a political agenda on the part of the Chamber, it will never be built
  • Are we going to replace the affordable housing that will be lost to the project
  • How much will toll road infrastructure add to the footprint
  • Lake Charles has a loop, why can’t Lafayette have one?
  • How will the project affect Lafayette’s attainment or non-attainment of air quality standards?
  • What steps are being taken now? What are the real options? DOTD response is they will proceed with the approved project.
  • Why continue with the elevated expressway? We could do a loop and upgrade Evangeline to a boulevard.
  • Was the railroad required to clean up the railyard area?
  • This is an opportunity for a large investment in improving our community.
  • Don’t pave over the heart of the City.
  • Do the project as proposed so we can get the area cleaned up.
  • Airport relocations will destroy wetlands.
  • Tiger grant will not consider an alternate route
  • We need facts about the contamination
  • People need to be valued. People will be displaced. Look at the effects on crime. The jail is full.
  • Go to the meetings, go to

Woody Martin

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Cauchemar Media: Freelance Writer/Editor/Screenwriter/Novelist/Photographer/Video Editor/Uranian Astrologer, from New York, now living and teaching writing deep in Cajun Country.

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