I-49 outreach reset begins Saturday Tomorrow’s Community Vision and Values Workshop begins five months of added community outreach programming by the Lafayette Connector Partners.

by Christiaan Mader

Tomorrow’s Community Vision and Values Workshop begins five months of added community outreach programming by the Lafayette Connector Partners.

An HTNB concept map showing a portion of the I-49 Connector traversing near Downtown. Below the aerial, a profile view shows the highway's elevation along that section. This and other Connector maps can be viewed here.

Officials with the I-49 Connector project will host the first in a series of newly scheduled community outreach workshops, rebooting the ongoing Context Sensitive Solutions program over the next five months on Jan. 23.

According to a press advisory distributed by DOTD, tomorrow's Community Vision and Values Workshop will feature breakout sessions with attendees, collecting concerns, priorities, goals, and ideas that ostensibly will contribute to the Connector’s final design. At the end of the session, attendees will vote on various design features currently in consideration.

Over the holidays, DOTD and its Lafayette Connector Partners announced changes to the CSS program rolled out in October of last year.

Responding to divisive reaction to the proposed elevated highway across the community, contracted design partners AECOM and Stantec Consulting have added five months of community outreach workshops aimed at recruiting more public involvement in the project, currently slated to connect I-49 through Lafayette along the Evangeline Thruway.

“During the last month, the DOTD/LCP Team has evaluated the feedback and comments received to date from key stakeholders, CSS committee members, partner agencies, and other community and interest group representatives,” DOTD spokesperson Deidra Druilhet said an email to The IND. “Taking this critical community feedback into consideration, we have refined our overall CSS program by adding an approximate five-month (January-May, 2016) collaborative process to enhance the level of the Lafayette community’s involvement and engagement in the discussion of what the I-49 Lafayette Connector will be.”

It’s unclear if the additional five months quote will be tacked onto the standing 18-month, $21 million design contract, or if the change marks a reordering within the original budget and schedule.

At press time, Druihlet could not confirm if either a new contract or a new scope of work had been developed to accommodate the schedule changes.

Druilhet provided a rough sketch of the CSS reboot, which ends in May with a collaborative presentation of “refinement concepts” developed in the workshops:

January – Conversation to discuss the project history in more detail and changes that have occurred in the community over the past 12 years, and formulate the community Vision and Values for the I-49 Lafayette Connector

February – Identification of potential refinement concepts to the Selected Alternative

March – Evaluation of Selected Alternative Refinement Concepts

April – Discussion of Preliminary Evaluation Results of Selected Alternative Refinement Concepts

May – Discussion of Final Evaluation Results of Selected Alternative Refinement Concepts, and preparation of final recommendations to DOTD/FHWA

The workshop is open to the public and will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Progressive Outreach Center at 125 Gallian St. in North Lafayette. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

If you can’t make it, the event will be live-tweeted via the Lafayette Connector’s twitter account — @LafConnector— and streamed via mobile video app Periscope.

For more information on the Connector, visit