The future of the I-49 expansion in Shreveport takes a step forward.

A regional planning council votes the route should go through the Allendale neighborhood.

This has been an ongoing debate for several years now and it’s far from over, but Friday morning the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments cast their vote for “alternative one” which is the Inner-City Connector that would run through Allendale.

It will fill three-in-half miles of new interstate bridging Interstate 20 to I-220. The other alternatives were known as the “loop-it” route through 3132 or the “no-build” option.

DOTD officials said the vote is based on years of research and cost analysis. Federal guidelines will dictate what will happen to neighbors.

“We’re very aware this has been a sensitive issue. This has been an issue that has sparked a lot of controversy and it’s a very emotional issue when you talk about a roadway that may or may not go through someone’s neighborhood, especially one that’s been there for many, many years. We just want to ensure everybody that as this process goes we are keeping that in mind,” said Erin Buchanan, LADOTD public information officer. 

This is only part of phase one. The next step is an Environmental Impact Statement from the Baton Rouge based consultant, Providence Engineering. It will take into account housing, historic landmarks and cemeteries. The statement should be complete sometime this winter.

The statement will then trigger phase two of the project which will follow with at least six months of public review and input. Plus finding funding for this project will be difficult because it’s estimated to cost 530-million-dollars.

So this long process is still in the early stages.