Turk File

Lafayette's I-49 Connector gets $304k TIGER grant

by Leslie Turk

"The connector is a crucial part of the larger I-49 South project from Lafayette to New Orleans that would convert U.S. 90 into an interstate-quality roadway." - U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced a $304,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant from the Department of Transportation to support Lafayette's plan to design and construct a 5.5-mile Interstate 49 connector through the city.

According to Landrieu's Sept. 9 announcement, the grant will allow the city to start planning, preparation and design of the I-49 Connector, a 5.5-mile, elevated highway that will begin south of Interstate 10 and end just south of the Lafayette Regional Airport.

Landrieu helped to secure $600 million in the FY14 Appropriations Act for the TIGER discretionary grant program; in April she wrote a letter supporting the city of Lafayette's application for the money.

TIGER grants are a highly competitive program awarded through the Department of Transportation for infrastructure projects across the country. For FY14, the program received nearly 800 applicant requests totaling more than $9.5 billion. Only 72 applicants received TIGER Grants, and three of those awardees are in Louisiana.