DOTD to upgrade portion U.S. 90

LAFAYETTE (AP) — A section of U.S. 90 in Lafayette Parish may soon be upgraded as part of the Interstate 49 South project.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development issued a notice of intent seeking a company to design and build the section of U.S. 90 from just north of Ambassador Caffery Parkway South to Albertson Parkway in Broussard.

DOTD said the project will consist of widening U.S. 90 to six lanes and potentially building several miles of frontage roads and several overpasses.

It is expected to cost between $75 million and $85 million. The DOTD expects to award the project to a firm no later than January 2014. Construction could be finished by early 2017.

Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the plans to upgrade the two-mile section of highway in November.

At the time, officials said approximately 35,000 motorists travel that segment of roadway every day.

At that time, Jindal said the project would be funded by bonding out the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund.

The construction of I-49 South from Lafayette to the west bank of New Orleans has been in the plans for decades, but the multibillion-dollar price tag has stalled completion.

The elevated section to be built along the Evangeline Thruway near downtown Lafayette is expected to cost $1 billion.

The rest of the interstate to New Orleans is another $5 billion to $6 billion.

State and local officials said recently that the state is working to break the project down into smaller sections that can be built now and function while awaiting completion of the entire project, as was done in Iberia Parish.

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