(LAFAYETTE, La.) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced that, in consultation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), it will prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) document for the I-49 Connector project.
The alignment of the future I-49 Connector, which generally runs along existing Evangeline Thruway from I-10 to the Lafayette Regional Airport, was approved by FHWA in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process which documented (or assessed) the positive and negative impacts of the proposed project. This process was completed in 2003 with a Record of Decision.
DOTD initially began working on a Reevaluation of the project, which is a process to find out whether there have been any changes along the approved alignment since 2003 and as follow up to the 21 Commitments made in 2003.
In consideration of the input from the community, potential refinements to the approved alignment are now being assessed. As a result, FHWA and DOTD agree that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process and document, in lieu of a Reevaluation, will be appropriate for assessing or documenting possible changes within the approved alignment.
“DOTD will continue to work with our federal partners to ensure any significant or proposed changes since the original EIS are thoroughly vetted to identify and document any new positive or negative environmental impacts,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. “DOTD is not just committed to the completion of the I-49 Connector, we’re committed to getting it right on every level.”
The SEIS process is currently estimated for completion in spring 2018.