Sunday, May 15, 2016

Impact of I-49 on the Lafayette Airport

Construction of any tall structures at the end of one of an airport runway is, at best, ill advised. Such structures inevitably increase risk of disaster. Allowing such construction by the I-49 Lafayette Connector project would give travelers the perception that Lafayette has a depreciated value for traveler safety. The Lafayette Airport Commissioners represent the public and are tasked with overseeing airport management and promoting the airport. It therefore seems remarkable that The Lafayette Airport Commission has not strenuously objected to plans to construct the elevated I-49 interstate on the airport boundary immediately at the end of one runway.

The 1975 Lafayette Regional Airport Master Plan Report concluded that conditions on the airport's periphery make any expansion difficult, or expensive, or both. The current plan to reroute Bayou Tortue, fill an area of wetlands within the Bayou's floodplain, and construct a runway extension on this unsupportive fill

  • will be an engineering challenge, 
  • will be environmentally destructive, 
  • will be very costly, and 
  • will be politically sensitive. 
The now-obsolete project EIS fails to evaluate or even consider these impacts.
from Lafayette Regional Airport Master Plan Report, 1975, page 11.

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