LAFAYETTE, LA – Connect Lafayette, a coalition of thirteen community organizations, released a recent poll of registered voters showing overwhelming support for replacing the Evangeline Thruway / U.S. 90 with an interstate and completing I-49 South. The Connect Lafayette coalition, which launched in late January 2017, is made up of organizations and citizens who believe a thoughtful design for the I-49 Lafayette Connector will enhance Lafayette’s urban fabric.
Conducted from Tuesday, November 22, to Tuesday, December 6, 2016, the poll sampled more than 1,000 voters drawn from across Lafayette Parish. Respondents were selected based on whether they voted in Lafayette Parish during the last five years. The poll asked three questions:
1. The completion of I-49 South from Shreveport through Lafayette all the way to New Orleans has been discussed for over 25 years. How important is the completion of I-49 South through Lafayette to the future of Lafayette Parish?
2. In your opinion, do you think that replacing the Evangeline Thruway, U.S. 90 through Lafayette with a new, elevated interstate highway would be an improvement over the condition of the Thruway as it exists today?
3. Regardless of a specific design, do you think replacing the Evangeline Thruway, U.S. 90 through Lafayette with a new interstate highway would be an improvement over the condition of the Thruway as it exists today?
For Question One, 84.6% of respondents rated the completion of I-49 through Lafayette as “very important” (62.9%) or “important” (21.8%) and only 5.6% rated it “unimportant” or “very unimportant”. The remaining 9.8% were neutral or didn’t know.
For Question Two, 67.5% felt replacing the Evangeline Thruway, U.S. 90 through Lafayette with a new elevated interstate highway would be an improvement over the condition of the Thruway as it exists today.
For Question Three, 70.8% felt replacing the Evangeline Thruway, U.S. 90 through Lafayette with a new interstate highway, regardless of design, would be an improvement over the condition of the Thruway as it exists today.
Coalition leaders and other Connector champions were unsurprised by poll results reaffirming community support for the Lafayette Connector and I-49 South.
Ken Lazard, Pastor of Destiny of Faith Church and President of the Senior Pastoral Alliance, was emboldened by the results saying, “These poll results confirm the importance of this project. Our organizations are ready to partner with the community to rally around this significant investment.”
The poll released today builds on a poll of frequent voters commissioned by One Acadiana roughly one year ago. The results of the earlier poll, conducted in January 2016, showed 81% of respondents rated the completion of I-49 through Lafayette as “very important” (50.6%) or “important” (30.4%). The poll released today has a much broader sample of registered voters and an even higher level of measured support.
Jason El Koubi, President & CEO of One Acadiana, said, “No matter how you analyze the data, the results show overwhelming support for I-49 South and the Lafayette Connector. In 2017, we expect to substantially finalize an overall design for the Connector, putting the project in a better place than it’s been in 15 years.”
Jan Swift, Executive Director of Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation, said “Overwhelmingly, the residents and business people located in Upper Lafayette Parish can testify that the time is now to build the Lafayette Connector.”
Community members can add their support by visiting ConnectLafayette.com and clicking the “Add your voice” button on the homepage, which sends a message telling key stakeholders that this project is important to the future of Lafayette and Acadiana.
Secretary of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Shawn D. Wilson, PhD, said, “As someone who’s been involved with this project for 20 years, it’s encouraging to see strong community-wide support for the Connector.”
About Connect Lafayette:
“Connect Lafayette” is a coalition of community organizations that believes the status quo of the Evangeline Thruway is unacceptable, and the Lafayette Connector has the potential to relieve congestion, revitalize our urban neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life in Acadiana. Currently thirteen organization strong, its membership includes:
Acadiana Planning Commission
Broussard Chamber of Commerce
City of Carencro
Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce
I-49 South Coalition
Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission (LCVC)
Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA)
Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA)
One Acadiana (1A)
REALTOR Association of Acadiana
Senior Pastoral Alliance
Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation
Youngsville Chamber of Commerce
Organizations interested in joining this growing coalition can visit ConnectLafayette.com and fill out the “Contact us” form.