Allendale residents ask city council to oppose I-49 inner-city connector

Published: Jan. 13, 2016 at 3:07 AM CST
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Some residents living in Shreveport's Allendale neighborhood came out in full force to protest the I-49 inner-city connector idea at Tuesday's Shreveport City Council meeting.

The debate between building at piece of the interstate through the city or around it is heating up again after a push being made by a Shreveport council member to force the city to take a stand on the I-49 debate. However, that vote was postponed.

The councilman, Willie Bradford, wants the I-49 inner city connector to go right through the Allendale neighborhood. Bradford believes building through the inner city will attract new businesses and industries in the area. He also calls it the most feasible route. Despite the vote being postponed, the agenda item still sparked a discussion on the topic at Tuesday's council meeting.

"I'm just hoping you all consider us as a community," said Terri Thrash, who along with a handful of other Allendale residents took turns telling the city council they are against the idea of completing I-49 by running it through the Allendale neighborhood.

"An inner-city connector will completely destroy our community and ultimately devastate our city," said Thrash.

Councilman Willie Bradford prompted the conversation when he asked the council to pass a resolution supporting the inner-city connector. But he later postponed the resolution at the request of other council members, who asked to wait until after public input meetings on the topic.

"We can't let something of this magnitude occur and not weigh in on it," he said.

The opponents of the inner-city connector want the council to consider supporting the "loop it" alternative, that would take drivers around Shreveport along the route of 3132 and Interstate 220.

"My only intentions in drafting this resolution were the leadership of Shreveport will at least have a position when and if the decision will be made regarding this," said Bradford.

While council members won't be involved in the final decision, one city leader will, Mayor Ollie Tyler. She is a member of The Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments also known as N-L-COG. That group is working with the Department of Transportation and Development on how to finish I-49 through Shreveport.

However, the mayor says she won't weigh in until after next week's series of public input meetings.

Councilman Willie Bradford hopes the council will vote on the resolution at their January 26 meeting after next week's meetings on the 19, 20 and 21.

For more details on the public input meetings, click here.

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