SHREVEPORT, La. - Shreveport's I-49 Inner-city connector project is getting a $100 million boost from the State Legislature.Lawmakers took that money from the settlement for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico.
According to The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, a finalized route has not yet been established, but a preferred route was voted on by the Northwest Louisiana Council of Government Committee. Ultimately the route will be selected by the Federal Highway Administration.
Christoper Petro with NLCOG says the route that was voted on which is the loop around considered as alternative 5 is in its draft phase.
"We accommodated that analysis and analyzed the impact environmentally of that analysis, and also brought that information to our policy members, and they made the decision to go ahead select the path through the inter city as the preferred path."
Petro says this is not the final route. After some details are worked out, he says the next step is to get approval from the Federal Highway Administration, then a required hearing will have to take place.
Petro notes the no bill alternative is always on the table. This would mean our Federal partners could decide the project is not feasible in the area, due to a lack of funds, or if the impact is too great, that the project should not be built.
The preferred route for the half billion dollar project would go through the Allendale-Lakeside Neighborhood. Although the route is not finalized, some residents in Allendale are fighting the project.
Louis Brosett is President of AllendaleStrong which is comprised of residents in the neighborhood against the project. He says he is not happy with the expansion project running through his community.
"We need more people to understand that taking someones land because of a highway it seems ridiculous, and I'm not really happy with that at all, he says.
Brosett says, Allendale Strong would like to connect the two ends of I-49 with a modern business boulevard that is mixed used and pedestrian and bike friendly.
The next meeting for Allendale Strong is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Friendship House at 1515 Clay Street to discuss their concerns.
Timothy Magner, President of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce says the project will have a tremendous economic value. He says when the research was done there was an estimated $800 million impact to the community.