Evangeline Corridor Initiative

Location: Lafayette, Louisiana

Project Consultants:
Right Angle (Public Outreach, Branding, and Communications), DPZ Partners (Planning Partner), Spackman Mossop + Michaels (Landscape Design), Urban3 (Economic Planning and Implementation), TND Engineering (Transportation Engineering and Streets), Todd Bressi (Public and Civic Art), Gateway Planning (Infrastructure and Government Policy Consultant)

For decades, local, state, and federal money has been used to build highways through many American cities, often disrupting neighborhoods and suppressing economic opportunity. A new, community-minded approach is underway. Federal grant dollars, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, are designed to restore and improve challenged communities. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants support planning that fosters connected neighborhoods, healthy activities, job creation, and economic growth.

When Lafayette Consolidated Government was awarded a TIGER grant in 2014, the Evangeline Corridor Initiative (ECI) was created to spur neighborhood revitalization in areas adjacent to the Evangeline Thruway and to help prepare residents and business owners for the challenges posed by the impending Lafayette I-49 Connector project, which is the upgrade of the current Evangeline Thruway (US Hwy 90) into a limited-access elevated interstate.

The ECI Project and Planning Consultant Team (ECI Team), which comprises architects, designers, planners and communications professionals, was created to facilitate public input and create design guidelines for each district as well as a comprehensive revitalization plan for the Corridor.

The ECI project will guide development that supports corridor neighborhoods by providing:

  • Planning and design concepts for infrastructure improvements to promote connectivity, provide alternate modes of transit, and drive economic development
  • Recommending new land-use patterns surrounding the Connector and Evangeline Thruway that promote mixed-use development while strengthening adjacent neighborhoods
  • A plan for implementing specific interventions, often identified as Catalyst Projects, that will provide neighborhood improvements that enhance the quality of life for corridor residents

The goals of this project are to reclaim and expand community assets. A primary aim of the initiative is to reconnect the city fabric, which has long been interrupted by the railroad and the Evangeline Thruway.