Federal, state, and local officials gathered today to discuss one of Acadiana’s and Louisiana’s top priority infrastructure projects I-49 South.
The project would connect offshore ports through the Acadiana region to help stimulate economic growth, but the project would also help revitalize sections of Highway 90 and Lafayette that run along the future I-49 corridor.
“It has unprecedented opportunities for our region to focus serious planning resources and serious investment into the urban core fabric of our community and region, and an area that has needed some attention for a long time.” said One Acadiana President Jason El-Koubi.
Lafayette and Acadiana have been steadily growing and the economy has grown along with it, but Gothreaux says a key to sustaining that economic growth is infrastructure.
“While workforce is obviously one of the most important factors for a business when making the decision on where to locate or where to expand, the number one thing that can be done for a community for economic development is building a road.” said LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux.
While the completion of I-49 South can help offer safer roadways and relieve traffic congestion in the Acadiana area, it will also offer the chance to keep and possibly grow the energy sector in our region.
“It will keep the vitality of the oil and gas industry in the direct improving and increasing connection to deepwater offshore directly with Lafayette and Acadiana.” said Gothreaux.
While much of the focus of the I-49 South project has been focused on oil and gas, Jason El-Koubi says resident he has spoken to have made it very clear they would like to see the corridor completed.
“I’ve talked with hundreds of people over the last year about what they see is the biggest priorities and what the biggest opportunities for their communities and Acadiana overall.” said El-Koubi. “The thing that I hear more than anything else is transportation and infrastructure, and the project that hear more than anything else is completing I-49 South.”
Moving forward the I-49 South project will play a large part in Lafayette’s place among world energy.
“It’s very important that this road be built in order to keep Lafayette and Acadiana viable in the world energy picture and that’s just one reason to build this road.” said Gothreaux.