May 9, 2013 7:47 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
At the Capitol, talks continue about the I-49 south expansion. One Acadiana lawmaker is proposing an alternative look, at the project.
The extension of I-49 would take it south from Carencro through Lafayette along the Evangeline Thruway.
But New Iberia State Representative Terry Landry is proposing another look at a route that would go around Lafayette to points East.
It's called the Teche Ridge route. It's been proposed and rejected before.
Some feel it makes financial sense.
"It's not just about dollars and sense, it's about common sense," St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier said, who supports another study on a Teche Ridge roadway. Some say it may be less costly than pouring money into I-49 south.
"We're saying before you do that, before you spend a billion dollars of our hard-working money, and possibly even tolling that road to make it a possibility, let's just study the possibility of using an alternate route," he said.
St. Martin Parish previously paid for a study, but had little luck with the Department of Transportation.
"They basically ignored it," Cormier said.
Some question, "Why bring up the Teche Route again?"
"All of those discussions were held, and exhaustively held," Lafayette Parish President Joey Durel said, and thinks this study could create a set back in a project that's already taken decades.
"To have this sort of discussion at this stage right now, in, my biggest fear is that it would cause the state to say, "You know what, if this area, if this hasn't been decided already, if there's still some discussion about it, we'll take this money and go somewhere else," Durel said.
If approved, the findings of the study would be reported during next year's legislation session.