BATON ROUGE – Completing I-49 South is Acadiana’s top infrastructure priority, and the I-49 South Coalition continues to advocate for this game-changing investment for Louisiana. Governor John Bel Edwards echoed his support for this priority by proclaiming May 14, 2019 as I-49 South Day in the State of Louisiana.
As part of National Infrastructure Week, the I-49 South Coalition organized I-49 South Day to recognize and encourage leadership at all levels of government to address Louisiana’s pressing infrastructure investment needs, including the completion of I-49 South.
“Infrastructure Week is the perfect time to be at the Capitol discussing the importance of I-49 South with elected leaders and public officials,” said I-49 South Coalition Chairman David Mann. “This year’s message is ‘Build for Tomorrow,’ which could not be better said. It is time to complete this decades-long initiative so that future generations can realize the benefits I-49 South stands to provide our state.”
The I-49 South Coalition met with representatives of Louisiana DOTD and the Treasurer’s Office to discuss progress being made along the corridor. The group also shared information with state legislators about the substantial benefits of bringing U.S. 90 up to interstate standards, such as improving safety and commerce, providing traffic congestion relief and evacuation capacity, and stimulating economic development opportunities. More than 100 of the planned 160 miles of I-49 South are complete or currently under construction.
Coalition members highlighted the findings of a 2017 economic impact analysis, which assesses the benefits of completing the I-49 Lafayette Connector and the extension of I-49 South from Lafayette to New Orleans. The study finds that completing the I-49 Lafayette Connector – a 5.5-mile extension of I-49 from I-10 to just south of the Lafayette Regional Airport – demonstrates robust short-term and long-term impacts on jobs and economic growth. Completing both the Lafayette Connector and other segments of I-49 South – to connect with I-310 southwest of New Orleans – would yield even stronger impacts and growth.
Key findings include:
- By 2044, completing the Lafayette Connector and other segments of I-49 South will create more than 6,000 jobs statewide
- Over a 21-year period following the construction of the 5.5-mile Lafayette Connector, the additional GDP contribution to the state of Louisiana is estimated to be more than $2.3 billion
- Over the same period, if both the Lafayette Connector and other segments of I-49 South are completed, the additional GDP contribution to Louisiana is estimated to be more than $9.7 billion
- By 2044, completing the 5.5-mile Lafayette Connector would save drivers an estimated 5 million trip hours. Completing the Lafayette Connector and other segments of I-49 South would save drivers an estimated 27.2 million trip hours
- Doing a benefit-cost analysis based on U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines, the Lafayette Connector has a national benefit-cost ratio of 1.93. Together with other segments of I-49 South, the benefit-cost ratio is 2.42
About the I-49 South Coalition
The I-49 South Coalition unifies and builds upon decades of continued efforts to make I-49 South a reality through public awareness, advocacy, education, policy, and seizing the opportunity for federal and state funding.
About Infrastructure Week
Infrastructure Week is a national advocacy and educational event taking place from May 13-20, 2019. Across the country, businesses, labor organizations, elected officials, and more have joined together to encourage citizens and policymakers to continue investing in infrastructure and transportation at the federal, state, and local level.
For more information, contact David Mann at 337-278-0237 or firstname.lastname@example.org.