Extension of I-49 in Shreveport Could Be Dead
It looks like there has been a major development on the proposed route of the I-49 inner city connector in the heart of Shreveport.
Some folks who were at the meeting of NLCOG (North Louisiana Council of Governments), claim a representative from Providence Engineering told the panel they are no longer considering a route through the Allendale Community because of legal issues connected to the 1966 Transportation Act. But Kent Rogers, Executive Director of NLCOG tells KEEL News that is not the case. He says basically, all options have to be explored and fully vetted before a route through Allendale can be approved by the feds.
A new map was presented to the board showing a completely new route that makes a loop closer to downtown and makes use of Hearne Avenue to connect I-49 to the intersection at I-220.
But many are skeptical if this will ever happen and it's beginning to look like a "no build" or "loop it" option will be the final decision. Several local groups are expected to step up to try to get some answers, but this latest action will only prolong the process of completing the interstate.
Allendale Strong Posted This Message:
We won! The new route, Alternative 3A (pink) is now at beginning stages of study by Providence Engineering for NLCOG and Allendale is no longer under threat. We still prefer leaving downtown Shreveport alone and using the federal dollars to upgrade the Loop but we can save that discussion for another day.
The Department of Transportation Act of 1966 set up regulatory requirements to make sure historic properties are preserved. It specifically sets restrictions on the use of land from publicly owned parks, recreational areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, or publicly and privately owned historical sites for transportation projects. This provision also says states must show no feasible alternatives or the use of these historic lands is very minimal. A representative from Providence Engineering told the NLCOG board they are no longer considering a route through Allendale because of the possibility of legal challenges that relate back to the 1966 Transportation Act.