April 14, 2009 11:15

The first task force to study construction of a north-south highway corridor through Lafayette, appointed by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, was formed in 1993. It recommended the Evangeline Thruway (which turns into U.S. Hwy. 90) as the most feasible alternative. Acting on that recommendation, Gov. Mike Foster appointed an I-49 South Task Force to document the need, identify funding sources and measure the level of support from the public, planning organizations and the state Legislature; Blanco followed with a task force of her own (one member tells the INDsider says the group met once). Now that the proposed design of the interstate is set, and all environmental studies are complete, it’s Gov. Bobby Jindal’s turn. The newest  task force, headed by Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel, went to work Monday in search of the $5 billion still needed to upgrade U.S. Hwy. 90 from Lafayette to New Orleans to interstate status. Up for debate this time around, according to today’s Advocate story: toll roads.

"Tolls will almost certainly be required to help fund the road, and the price tag could be cut considerably if the final stretch to New Orleans is excluded, said Kam Movassaghi, the former secretary of the state Department of Transportation and Development. “Without the toll, probably, this highway will never be built,” Movassaghi said. “Ultimately, tolls have to be considered.”

Read the rest of The Advocate story here.

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