America’s Energy Corridor, existing U.S. Highway 90, is one of the busiest stretches of roadway in the country.
The South Louisiana economy has access to ports throughout much of the corridor along with railways and airports that facilitate the movement of commerce throughout the region. Our infrastructure network provides our nation and our world with the bountiful resources of our state.
This network is a strong one, but one piece in particular leaves something to be desired.
For too long, our main roadway has lagged behind. U.S. Highway 90 between Lafayette and New Orleans, one of the most integral parts of our regional economy, is not up to the standards of 21st century economic competition. It is also not up to the standards of business and industry in terms of one of the two main criteria that is desired when companies are deciding where to locate or relocate.
Close proximity to an interstate is one of the main attributes that an area must possess in order to make it onto that “short list” of destinations.
Our area is perfect in terms of location, right near the source of so many industries; but right now, this lack of an interstate is holding us back.
Because of this, our economy is not seeing the potential growth that is possible when an interstate connects Lafayette to New Orleans along this southern route. Signs have proclaimed U.S. Highway 90 as a “Future I-49 Corridor” since the late 1990s, and those signs are beginning to show their age. Some are rusted, some are faded, and some are swaying in the breeze because they have lost a screw or two.
These signs should not be replaced with more “Future Corridor” signs. The only signs that should replace these are ones that simply read “I-49.”
Now is the time to refocus our efforts on making I-49 South a reality. Now is the time to attract more business and industry to South Louisiana. Now is the time to create an area that our children and grandchildren can call home for a lifetime. And now is the time to finally have the interstate that our economy and our families deserve.
Please join us for a Stakeholders’ Meeting at the Patterson Civic Center (116 Cotten Road, Patterson) on March 18 at 3 p.m. to discuss the formation of a new I-49 South Coalition to unify our efforts with other like-minded organizations and citizens that place a high-priority on finishing I-49 South once and for all.
Be a part of the solution to “DRIVE 49 SOUTH!”
Visit the coalition’s website at drive49south.org for more information or email the coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to see you there!