Jun 5, 2013 7:27 PM by Chris Welty

Changes Possible for Portions of I-49

Relief could be on the way for drivers along I-49.

The Department of Transportation and Development is looking at the area from I-10, north to exit seven in Carencro. New on and off ramps could be built as well as one-way frontage roads.

The study comes at the request of State Representatives Stephen Ortego and Vincent Pierre. They say the area is growing and new methods of traffic control need to be implemented.

"We definitely need something in this area," said Mark Cole.

Every morning and afternoon, the steady red glare of brake lights is a common sight on LA-1252 in Carencro. Mark Cole owns Don's Specialty Meats there and says it's a headache for him and his customers. Cole hopes a roundabout or even a new exit is built to ease traffic.

"It could be beneficial for easy access to local businesses and accessibility would be better."

Todd Citron of Hub City Ford agrees. He says new exits, roundabouts and changing frontage roads to one-ways would help traffic and business.

"We need to be very proactive and get our infrastructure set to handle the traffic and the commerce coming our way," said Citron.

He says safety is also a concern along the frontage road because people use it to bypass the interstate at interstate speeds. Citron wants a roundabout installed at Pont des Mouton and Frontage Road.

"For our auto show, we had a brand new Escape we were shuttling to Cajun Field and it got totaled at that intersection. They have at least three wrecks a month there. We just need to do everything we can to keep it safe and flowing to promote business," said Citron.

The Department of Transportation and Development has until the end of August to complete its study. On September first, the department will present findings to the House and Senate Transportation Committees. DOTD representatives say giving the project a green light is a lengthy process.

Representative Ortego says if approved, money for the construction could come from the Capital Outlay Program, the State Highway Priority Program and Federal funding.

Chris Welty



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