Under “Updates on previously documented boondoggles” the PIRG lists I-49 Inner-City Connector, Shreveport, Louisiana with the headline “Planning advances despite local pushback.”
An excerpt: Highway Boondoggles 4 in 2018 covered the I-49 Inner-City Connector, a $600 million highway project that would extend for 3.5 miles through a residential area in Shreveport, La., slicing through the historic neighborhood of Allendale and requiring the demolition of homes and a church.
In our last update in 2022, the I-49 project was still in the process of planning and drafting its environmental impact statement (EIS).237 The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) originally proposed four possible routes through Allendale.238 Since then, a fifth route that connects LA 3121 to I-220 has been proposed and studied.
As noted in our last update, residents of Allendale have proposed an alternative project: upgrading Route 71, already used by drivers to connect to I-49, into a multiuse “business boulevard.” According to community group Allendale Strong, this would cost just a fraction of the cost of the I-49 cut-through, while strengthening existing communities and bolstering local businesses. As of September 2023, although the Federal Highway Administration requires all “reasonable alternatives to be considered,” the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG) continues to refuse to add this proposed boulevard to the scope of the project.
However, in 2023, after fierce opposition from residents concerned about the highway’s environmental and community impacts, NLCOG’s Transportation Policy Committee suggested another alternative route – 3A – presented as an alternative that would minimize the damage inflicted on the Allendale neighborhood.
However, Allendale residents continue to oppose the I-49 Inner-City Connector project, arguing that Alternative 3A does little to reduce the impacts that the community would suffer compared to current plans.242 These new plans would not completely spare Allendale: The construction of Inner-City Connector would be a blight on the neighborhood, both visually and by bringing increased air and noise pollution to every home in the area… Read the rest of the update
- Read the original 2018 article here: “A proposed new highway would slice through the heart of a neighborhood”
- Download the entire 2023 Boondoggle report here: “Highway Boondoggles 8: Doubling Down on Wasteful, Destructive Highway Projects”
Scroll to page 33 for the Shreveport section below:2023 1110 Highway Boondoggles 2023 FINAL