Monday, June 12, 2017

Please comment on plans for the LRX: Interstate bypass alternatives

Several past posts on this blog,, have dealt with Lafayette bypass alternatives that would compete with the proposed I-49 Connector which proposes to build an elevated urban interstate through the heart of Lafayette. Lafayette bypasses would compete with the I-49 Con for projected traffic load, and therefore funding and priority.

Last week, June 6th and 7th, the Lafayette Metropolitan Expressway Commission (LMEC) hosted open house meetings which updated information on their plans to build the Lafayette Regional Xpressway (LRX) as a partially toll-funded interstate bypass west of Lafayette.
The LRX bypass will allow through traffic to avoid passing through Lafayette's urban core, and should relieve the city of much of its heavy truck and hazardous cargo traffic. It would also draw traffic away from some of the heaviest traffic areas of the Parish.

The infrastructure solutions firm, HNTB, gave one-on-one presentations to the public during the LMEC open house. We were told that meeting materials would be posted on the LMEC web site after the meetings. That information is not yet posted, but I have scanned the meeting handouts which are available through these links:

Public comment on LRX planning has now been requested as a part of the project's Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Completion of this EIS is anticipated at the end of this year. I urge all readers of this blog to comment, share, and ask friends to submit comments. Although our state and local politicians have financial and legal constraints that limit describing the LRX as an alternative to the I-49 Con, the obvious fact  is that both would be competing parallel roadways, and funding completion of either makes it unlikely the other will ever be built! These projects are in a competition for priority and funds. Now it is up to the public to declare their preference.
The third document, the questionnaire and comment form, should be submitted to the email or postal address given at the bottom of the form. There is no set deadline for submitting public comment, but I believe it would be best to send in your comments within the next 2 weeks, and certainly by the end of June. Emailed comments should be sent to