Friday, May 6, 2016

Health Hazards from Toxic Construction Dust

Victory Garden
As just one example, the Victory Garden on S. Pierce Street 
will be in danger of contamination from construction dust 
containing lead, arsenic, asbestos, and other toxics (photo by 
M. Waldon, no rights reserved).
Abandoned rail yards are typically found to have very high levels of contamination from numerous toxic materials. Among these are lead (paint and batteries), arsenic (widely used by railroads for pest control, weed control, and as a wood preservative in rail ties),  and asbestos (steam engine firebox and boiler). It is believed that very high levels of these substances contaminate the soil in the abandoned rail yard and along the rail line within the I-49 Connector area. Any construction involving vehicular traffic driving across this soil, and any soil excavation will result in liberation of these toxics as dust.

How will toxic dust be monitored within and at the fence line of the Connector project?

How will the workers on-site be protected? Will all workers be required to wear respirators or other protective devices during construction?

How will the public, particularly neighborhood children, be protected from this hazardous toxic dust?

Loss of cultural venue the Feed N Seed

Feed N Seed
The Feen N Seed at 106 N. Grant Street has marked for removal
by the Louisiana DOTD. Photo - M Waldon, no rights reserved.
How can the DOTD mitigate the cultural loss to our community as they destroy the Feed N Seed ( and other historic and cultural sites in our city? This venue provides the community with diverse offerings such as the performance and release party described in an article in The Advocate titled "Mike Dean to release new live album at Feed N Seed in Lafayette."

The article is available at:

Earlier in 2016, a video recorded at the Feed N Seed appeared on NBC's Today Show:

To see more recent news, Google Lafayette Feed N Seed and click News, or use this link

Public-Space Transformations

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Jason D. Faulk posted a comment on Facebook:
In the post, he cites an article in Business Insider titled "11 dramatic public-space transformations captured by Google Street View" which concludes that "cities across the world are becoming less car-oriented and more pedestrian friendly":

Jason Faulk states:
Most dramatic are the conversions of a street in Minneapolis, and the covering of the open-air recessed freeway in Dallas. All of which beg: if Lafayette, LA wants to spend $700 million to $1 billion on a 5 mile freeway connector, what other potentialities for urban space, that creates value for human beings on the ground, in private and public spaces are possible?‪#‎Y49Lafayette‬ indeed.‪#‎LafayetteConnector‬

What other possibilities for use of this space were considered instead of the urban freeway planned in this project?

This Facebook post generated interesting dialog through comments. I request that DOTD provide a response to this post and its associated comments.