I-49 pushes on post-Katrina
Major highway expansion will change the face of parish
When completed, the highway will connect Layafette to New Orleans through old Highway 90.
"The project is very important. We feel that it will expedite the evacuation," said Project Director Mike Aghayan, as the increased capacity of the future highway will allow people in the region to leave quicker and safer during impending hurricanes.
Aside from allowing people to flee faster during storms, the economic impact of the highway is also a major issue. If the highway were to come through Boutte along Hwy. 90, as proposed in one model, the business corridor would be forced to accommodate the widened road. Thus, businesses and homes would need to be bought out and moved.
But that is only one suggestion of the plan. Others include avoiding Boutte altogether, either to the north above the railroad tracks or to the south through the wetlands.
While most residents in the parish support the highway and the changes it will bring, where it is to be placed remains the most contentious issue.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development of the Federal Highway Administration are still undecided on the route. "We presented the public, in the past, with alternatives. Of the alternatives, we are studying the least damaging and most practical," Aghayan said.
As for what route is favorable, "We are considering all options, and we feel it would be premature to establish a route without going to a public meeting," said Aghayan.
The proposed parts of I-49 are being broken down into sections of independent utility. Those sections, then, are subjected to an environmental impact study. After which time, Aghayan said that the public would be presented with their conclusions.
"We are going to come to the public with the best route, and then they will have the opportunity to comment on the project," said Aghayan, adding that the planning phase should be completed by mid-July.
Aghayan expects to hold a hearing around mid to late summer, allowing concerns to be aired. Aghayan said that he is still negotiating with DJM Harris, the engineering firm handling construction.
While planning is continuing, Aghayan said that funds, which will come from the federal government, for construction still have not been secured.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
The St. Charles Parish Council has awarded a $116,724 contract to create a new...
The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office recently ruled that free dumpsters provided...
As Christmas approaches once again and families scramble to fulfill gift lists,...
Destrehan’s best football season in years came to an end on Friday with a 35-7 loss...
The home of Elmira Blanks in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of St. Rose is...
After 15 years, Mary desBordes will step down as director of the St. Charles Parish...
Monti Notary Services always has a Notary available. During Business hours, we have multiple Notaries on hand to help you with all your Notary Public Service needs and title transfers.
Destrehan falls short of state championship appearance in semi-final loss to Acadiana - 1134 views
The Destrehan Wildcats' hopes for another state championship were dashed when they fell to the Acadiana Rams in the semi-final round of the playoffs.