Mission:
To convey reliable information about I-49, and to facilitate community-wide dialogue of the advantages, or drawbacks if any, of constructing the I-49 Inner-City Connector (Click here).
Maps
Definitions
Disinformation
Press Releases
Links
FAQs
Contributions
home page general information mail link goes here. copyright information

Environmental Impact Statement definition from Wikipedia

John Caruthers
I-49/I-69 Article
circa 2002

It is a Safety Issue.

I-49 Path Aerial Photos

Vision for Growth: Bloggers at the ShreveportTimes.com, August 2007

New U.S. DOT Rule Allows States Flexibility to Build Roads and Bridges Faster

Arkansas commits to last 4 miles to Louisiana Line: - Gard Wayt "Getting It Done"
I-49 North Coalition 8-29-07

I-69 is Priority, Great......

People With "A Passion" Can Make The Difference

100 Cow Town? We Think Not

Progress...Look At The Map. It's Pretty Simple. Straight Path through The City & Everyone Wins.

Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal appoints Bill Ankner as Director of LA DOTD
(Dated: 12-28-07)

Hwy. 3132 Buckles in Heat....Not Cost Effective for I-49

HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE: I-49 NORTH TOWARDS ARKANSAS

What's Wrong with This Photo?


press releases and articles

March 4, 2008 Congrats to NLCOG on starting Feasibility Study for I-49 Inner-City Connector (3 1/2 vitally important miles)... Appreciation for Kent Rogers and his staff, along with Mayor Cedric Glover. Click on this link...which leads to another link on NLCOG site (7 Page Report). Again, Hooray for Northwest Louisiana...and in reality the whole State.


December 28, 2007: Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal appoints Bill Ankner as Director of LA DOTD


September 1, 2007: Ediorial to The Times by Vernon Hastings,
Shreveport Citizen
.

I49 Report says and feels: A major majority of the Ark-La-Tex population
wants I-49 finished now....and completely connecting it to I-20 at I-49
(near Murphy Street)


July 4, 2007: The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development should use the $60 million the legislature recently appropriated for various projects on I-49 North, even if there are no federal highway funds available by using state funds to pay for projects in anticipation of federal matching money that Congress will provide.

By using all state funds for the feasibility study for I-49 through Allendale and for construction projects between I-220 and Belcher, while waiting for federal money, will save the taxpayers millions of dollars.

When Congress provides the federal matching money, 80% of these costs will be repaid to the State of Louisiana, and the State can start the cycle all over again by paying for other projects all with State funds, while Congress provides federal highway money next year again, and so forth.

It is up to Congress to provide the federal money to match this State money for I-49 North.


Friday, June 8, 2007, 2 PM, an I-49 Panel discussion was held in the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum Auditorium, State Fair Grounds, Shreveport. The public was invited to attend to provide input at the forum. The primary topic of discussion was I-49 Inner City Connector. The panel discussion was organized by Rep. Roy Burrell. You can reach his office by calling, (318) 676-7137 or Click here for the Recordings.

Letters to the Editor (The Times): shreveporttimes.com

Urge funding for I-49 North completion June 19, 2007

I49REPORT Comment: Good Editorial Linda. Keep Pushing. In your next Editorial make sure to ask for adequate funding for the EIS for the I-49 Inner-City Connector about $3.5 Million.

By Linda Biernacki

Committee of One Hundred
Economic Development Committee Chair
Shreveport

The Committee of One Hundred of Shreveport-Bossier wants to thank Mayor Cedric Glover and Mayor Lo Walker for their leadership roles in asking for the full funding for completing I-49 North NOW. Completion of this project will benefit the entire state with improved economic development. This will allow access from other states into Louisiana and will benefit all of Louisiana by bringing wealth into our state. Louisiana needs a completed north-south corridor for statewide economic development NOW. This is a key infrastructure component for the state. It will provide a connection with Arkansas and points north, allowing people and goods to more freely enter our state to benefit our citizens. Also, a completed Interstate 49 helps our state and region to better provide distribution of our products to the rest of the country. This project has long-lasting benefits for generations to come with priority over many of the short-term projects that are being considered instead.

Please contact your legislators and the governor to let them know that this is a critical investment in the future of our state, and ask them to vote for any and all proposals to fund and accelerate completion of I-49 North.


Editorial (The Times): shreveporttimes.com

I-49 Inner-City Route Still a Challenge, June 13, 2007

I 49 Report comment: Terrific Editorial by The Times (06-13-2007). Quite possibly the first time in over 20 years that a Shreveport media outlet has taken a serious and informative look at the I-49 Inner-City segment. By the views posted by responders to the article -- It's a No Brainer, the Inner-City Segment should be built. I49 Report has felt this way for years. May the community-wide dialogue continue and hopefully more funds will continue to be secured, as quickly as possible. AND the Interstate finished in a timely manner (here's hoping in 6 to 7 years....from Arkansas through Shreveport, connecting at I-20 at Murphy Street). KEEP PUSHING.

Contact the Governor, Your State Representative and Your State Senators. A Reminder: HB321 passed the LA House 92-0 and is hoping/needing a State Senator to take it to the Senate Floor for a vote (see Homepage for more info on HB321). The clock is ticking: only 15 days remain in this session of the Legislature. WHAT ARE WE IN LOUISIANA WAITING FOR? Click on our link FAQ and you will see what the answer has been for 30+ years. It's shameful. I 49 Report says, Finish The Job.

As of today (June 13, 2007), the question is: Will Senators Lydia Jackson and Sherri Cheek, who sit on the Senate Finance Committee, let a good funding bill go to the Senate for a vote? They have HB321....and have done nothing with it, yet. Here's hoping/praying they will do the right thing for Shreveport-Bossier, the Ark-La-Tex and the whole State of Louisiana. HB321 is a good answer. Do they have the guts to Finish The Job, quickly?....or are they just playing political games, which would be business as usual?

I49 Report Says: REQUEST THEY DO THE RIGHT THING. Get involved in this process: for your kids and grand-kids....and their kids and grand-kids. In the end, it is simple.

Start of Times Article:

The account of Lafayette's travails over how best to run Interstate 49 through its city made our head hurt.

Years of planning and politicking to come up with a plan for an underground highway ultimately had to be scrapped when planners realized they were effectively creating a levee through the middle of town.

More years, more meetings and now the plan is for an elevated interstate that will require stands of trees and plaza water fountains to muffle or mask the traffic noise, all to be financed along with other accoutrements by those often controversial special taxing mechanisms called TIFs.

The experience offered valuable perspective as a handful of local officials last week convened state highway officials and citizens to talk up a local inner-city I-49 link.

State Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, who represents much of the three-mile route, is the biggest booster for what he believes would offer economic rejuvenation for a neglected part of the city.

Burrell is seeking additional attention and dollars to study the route, while acknowledging that the top priority must first be to complete I-49 to Arkansas, beginning at Interstate 220.

We are in agreement. We can't allow efforts to be diffused or confused by side debates over the inner-city route until the Arkansas connection is made.

Opening our interstate door to Arkansas, even utilizing a somewhat awkward 14-mile loop around Shreveport, means a four-lane gateway for traffic into Louisiana all the way to Lafayette. Because I-49 North is mostly through open pasture and forests, it offers the least expensive route of any portion of I-49, and yet we have money $280 million for only half the route from the Arkansas line. Construction costs increase by the millions monthly. Because of that, the state hasn't even factored an inner-city route into its plans.

Is the inner-city corridor a dream worth pursuing? Certainly straight lines hold an appeal. The promise of economic development gets everyone's attention. And the ground conditions have changed somewhat since the last time the inner-city route was explored. Then, charges of environmental injustice displacing poor people who had few choices about where to live helped turn back inner-city route advocates. Today, fewer people are in the way, many of the shotgun houses and much of the public housing torn down.

But hard issues will remain. What sort of economic development is to be expected? How much would wetlands or other environmental issues come into play? Would hazardous materials be allowed on this corridor or routed around?

Are there perhaps alternatives to rejuvenation without the interstate? Could a surface-level parkway provide a slower, but more aesthetically pleasing gateway into downtown Shreveport while spinning off commercial and residential development along its route?

Discussion, awareness are good things and last week's meeting, though sparsely attended, offered perspective and food for thought. In the end, as one speaker noted during a panel discussion, taxpayers have to decide what they are willing to pay for and where they believe they will get the biggest bang for their bucks.


Editorial (The Times): shreveporttimes.com

Free I-49: Hostage to politics, short-sightedness, June 7, 2007 (I49REPORT approves of this editorial, more of the same please, especially about the Inner-City Connector)

We figure the next edition of the Merriam Webster dictionary will include an Interstate 49 road sign next to the word frustration.

Or next to short sighted it may include a photo of the state capitol.

Completing this highway from Shreveport to the Arkansas line and thus to the economic vistas of the Midwest and ultimately Canada is one of the smartest commitments this state could make.

Instead, we hear the state transportation secretary lament to lawmakers Monday that Louisiana is rapidly losing ground on construction costs for

I-49 north. The one-time $360 million project is now pegged at $560 million and Secretary Johnny Bradberry says another $280 million is needed from the federal government.

Then Tuesday, with a northwest Louisiana delegation of 60 pleading the region's case, I-49 construction bonds totaling $27.3 million for north and south portions get caught up in a political tug o' war that pits construction projects against tax breaks in a fight over the budget surplus.

With the administration eager to commit $400 million to a German steel mill and just this week $50 million to help attract an expanded cyber warfare mission to Barksdale Air Force Base — thank you very much, Governor — it seems Baton Rouge can't visualize a similar boon in jobs and commerce that would be created by a completed I-49.

What's so wrong with recommitting a portion of that steel mill money — no longer needed because the Germans picked Alabama — to an I-49 push, knowing that ultimately the federal dollars will come back in matching funds. Meanwhile, state economic development will more than compensate for the expenditure.

It's hard to find a spending priority without merit in the state budget, but lawmakers salivating over the surplus need to make sure the state is swinging for extra bases in setting priorities. Significant chunks of dollars committed to education and highways are the sweet spots that will put Louisiana in the game with the rest of the nation.

As for the tax-cut champions, those lawmakers should note that analysts already are noting the revenue surge is showing signs of plateauing, that the post-hurricane "false" economy will recede and could leave us scratching once again for budget dollars.

Meanwhile, the Legislature can at least approve local legislation that would allow the state to use unclaimed property revenues previously committed to retiring I-49 construction debt to also be used for direct spending on any related expenses.

From Monroe News Star World (June 5, 2007) ... Did you see this information in local Shreveport press on this same date, if ever?

I-49 North funding $280M short

By Mike Hasten <mhasten@gannett.com>

BATON ROUGE - The Department of Transportation and Development is making great progress building Interstate 49 from the Arkansas line toward Shreveport, the department head said Monday, but he's only got enough money to get halfway there. "We've got a $280 million shortfall in the $560 million project," Secretary Johnny Bradberry told the Senate Transportation Committee. There's a 37-mile stretch between Interstate 220 in Shreveport and Arkansas and 19 miles of it are under construction.

What many consider to be the final portion of I-49 North, a seven-mile section through the city of Shreveport linking the northern section to the current terminus of I-49 at Interstate 20, is not even in the department's planning budget, Bradberry said.

Under questioning by Sen. Lydia Jackson, D-Shreveport, Bradberry said, "the Metropolitan Planning Commission has not designated that portion, 220 to 20, as a top priority," so the department's plans stop at I-220.

Running I-49 through the city would cost another $320 million, he said, and an environmental impact study would cost up to $5 million.

"There's no money targeted for that," Bradberry said.

"I-220 to Arkansas is certainly the first thing we need to do," Jackson said.

The current schedule for completion of that portion is 2012.

Bradberry said the state's portion of construction funding — $56 million — should be ready by 2009 and he currently is securing rights of way so construction can proceed when funding is available.

Federal matching funds of about $240 million would require an "earmark" in the federal highway funding bill that only a member of the state's congressional delegation could secure.

The Legislature has $18.3 million in the Capital Outlay Bill, the state construction plan, for the project, he said, and another $15 million is expected in 2008. The governor wants to use $11 million of the state general fund surplus, which would take a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, and another $10.9 million would be available in the 2009 Capital Outlay Bill.

Bradberry said people don't realize how much work is being done on I-49 North because it's in a secluded area.

"For every mile, it costs $8-10 million because it's wilderness," he said.


John Caruthers