Posted: Apr 19, 2012 9:45 PM by Maddie Garrett
An extension of Lafayette's South College Road is finally moving forward after years of delays. It's the third and final goal for Lafayette Consolidated Government, after Camelia Boulevard and Louisiana Avenue extensions were completed.
City-Parish government has wanted to extend the road all the way to Kaliste Saloom for almost two decades in hopes of alleviating traffic congestion known to build up in the area.
The proposed route stretches through about 11 acres of mostly vacant land and then across the Vermilion River where a new bridge would be built. The land is owned by the Glorioso family, who are working out a deal to sell the land to LCG. This is all happening through a newly introduced ordinance.
"It (the ordinance) does two things. It not only preserves the corridor for the road to get to the bridge, but it also gives the family who owns that property an answer," said Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel.
Durel said planning the right of way now makes sure the family doesn't develop the land, even if construction won't start for several years.
"If you don't preserve the corridors, at some point it's almost immoral that you don't let people develop their land," he explained.
Durel also said it's time for LCG to take over the extension project from the State.
"I truly believe that if we can get the State to give us, it'd be great for them to help us, but if we could take over responsibilIty of getting it all done, I think we could get it done much faster," said Durel.
Rough cost estimates of the extension range from $25 million to $30 million. Durel said he believes the State would still help pay for at least part of those costs.
It could be at least five more years before the extension opens however. The ordinance is up for final adoption on May 1, 2012. Then the right-of-way acquisition will take two to three years. After that, another two years will be needed for construction, meaning the earliest the South College extension will open is 2017.