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Revitalization Plans in the works for University Avenue

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Posted at 5:26 AM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 08:17:09-05

LCG, Acadiana Planning Commission, community organizations and state officials are all working together to revitalize the University Avenue corridor.

It's a multi-year project expected to bring economic development, safer transportation, and some beautification to the area.

The plan includes a median safe for pedestrians, roundabouts to slow traffic, and visually appealing improvements to University.

It will start at Jeanne Street and the first phase will include the intersection of University and Cameron. The catalyst for all of this is the safety of those who primarily walk to get around the area.

"40 percent of the households in that area don't own a vehicle so they're on foot and when you're driving down a 5 lane roadway, you're not expecting to see a pedestrian. But you often do have pedestrians in that turning lane using it as a pathway, so it's critically dangerous," says Monique Boulet, CEO of Acadiana Planning Commission.

The stretch has the entrance to Lafayette from the interstate, it takes you to City Hall, UL the police department, and to our airport.

For this reason, officials want the project to include a welcoming gateway to the city for those coming in off the interstate.

"Let's give them a great first impression because we have so much to offer. When you first get here and meet the community, there is so much more than what people take away on their first impression," says Boulet.

This project is no small feat, so it will require the patience of the community. But it promises a big reward.

"In 2021 what's going to be happening is a lot of behind the scenes activities. You'll have the environmental review, the design and engineering will take place. You won't see them tearing up the roadway in 2021. I'm going to say hopefully in 2022, 2023. It'll probably be a three to five year project because there is a lot to be worked out, but it is in motion right now," says Boulet.

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