St. Landry Parish agencies join forces for a ‘clean, attractive I-49’

Louisiana News

OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY)– The Central St. Landry Economic Development District (CSLEDD), St. Landry Solid Waste Commission, and other agencies are combining their efforts to bring a ‘cleaner and brighter’ 1-49 median.

Officials say CSLEDD was created a few months ago and took over maintenance of the median between Harry Guilbeau Road and U.S. 190 to promote economic growth in the I-49 corridor.

Some of their first actions included replacing downed light poles, upgrading the lighting at key intersections, providing regular litter pickup, and doubling the number of times the grass is cut each year.    

According to officials, the new project builds upon those initiatives. Parish inmate crews, overseen by the solid waste commission, will begin more frequent and more substantial cleanups in the median and along the roadway.

CSLEDD chairman Frank ‘Buddy’ Helton says, as a first step, they have begun clearing away accumulated rocks, sand, and other debris beneath the overpasses at Harry Guilbeau and Judson Walsh roads and at the U.S. 190 intersection.

The sheriff’s department, City of Opelousas, Opelousas police department, and State Department of Transportation are also participating in the effort, according to Helton.

In addition to making the roadways “better looking,” CSLEDD has begun work to make infrastructure upgrades that will make properties in the central I-49 corridor “more attractive to potential business investors.”

CSLEDD has also taken the lead in preparing a master plan to develop Evangeline Downs property at the I-49-U.S. 190 intersection into the Gateway to Acadiana. That project could bring development of 140,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, an events center, and a high-end RV park, among other amenities, according to officials.

The I-49 corridor is the transportation and economic backbone of the parish. Nothing but good can happen when agencies from across the spectrum of parish life work together to make it more attractive to our citizens that drive it daily and to investors seeking a place to bring new jobs.

Bill Rodier, St. Landry Economic Development Director

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