Walter Pierce

MPO briefed on road projects

by Walter Pierce

The Lafayette City-Parish Council, in its dual role as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, was briefed on long-range traffic infrastructure plans for the parish, including the widening of Verot School Road and the construction of a frontage road system for Interstate 10.

The council accepted the findings of a frontage road study for I-10 that would utilize a one-way frontage road system along the interstate using so-called x-ramp configurations at major crossing arteries from La. 93 in Scott eastward to La. 354, which marks the Lafayette-St. Martin parish line. The project is currently in the feasibility stage and will cost between $100 million and $150 million, depending on whether bridges along the route are replaced or simply improved.

Former councilman Jerry Trumps, who is now working with LCG’s Traffic and Transportation Department on the project, told the council the frontage road system is many years from reality. “We still have to jump through some more hoops to make that happen,” he said.

The council also learned that the cost of widening Verot School Road has risen since the last estimate, from roughly $17 million to just over $25 million, a rise due in part to additional infrastructure needs along the route. The widening of Verot is also taking longer than expected: The project was originally planned to go out for bid in 2008. Bidding on the project is now anticipated for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.