With many questions still surrounding the project, the Community Foundation of Acadiana set out to study the impact I-49 South could have in Acadiana.
While it is forecasted that I-49 south is set to have a positive economic impact in Lafayette, supporters of the project say it’s so much more than just bringing in more revenue.
“Every hour someone spends in traffic is an hour they are not spending with their families.” said Jason El-Koubi who is the CEO of One Acadiana.
And for El-Koubi building the Lafayette Connector in the heart of the city makes all of the difference.
“It’s an hour they are not spending working and those hours are valuable and at the end of the day when you add them over months and years those hours lost are worth billions.” said El-Koubi
Community Foundation of Acadiana contracted two firms to spearhead a study to show I-49 south’s impact from 2016 to 2044.
They found the Lafayette connector could save drivers an estimated 5 and a half million hours on the road.
“You can connect between different areas of the state quicker and in shorter times and in a safer manner and with less damage to your vehicle.” said Eric McClellan of CDM Smith.
It could also generate more than six thousand jobs statewide.
El-Koubi who has supported the project from day one believes the economic study only validates what he has thought all along.
“This makes a lot of dollars and cents.” he explained.
To read the full study, click here.
Despite I-49 South’s potential to make a huge economic impact, the project has not been without controversy.
Groups like the Sierra Club are worried that the Lafayette Connector could contaminate the city’s water supply.