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The Gray Line Tour

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / October 19, 1998

Gov. Foster has come under a lot of heat about his pushing for the upgradeof a portion of U.S. Highway 90, between New Orleans and Lafayette, tobecome part of Interstate 49. Along the way, he’s replaced his highwaydepartment chief and claimed the project won’t hurt other highway project funding.

Much is also made of the fact that the new interstate highway would pass a stone’s throw from Foster’s own residence in Franklin. This, to me, iscompletely irrelevant, as the project was one discussed long before Foster ever took public office.

The fact remains, and was amply illustrated by the threat of Hurricane Georges, that southeast Louisiana needs an improved evacuation route system. However, one other vital link needs to be addressed – Interstate55.

As it stands, I-55 provides easy routing of evacuation traffic from St.

Charles, Jefferson and Orleans parishes, headed north. However, as U.S.Highway 51 at the southern access ramp of I-55 floods every time one spits twice, residents in St. John the Baptist Parish are forced to take I-10 north, the traffic funneled onto the Belle Terre interchange.

Our state legislative delegation needs to help St. John Parish residents bymaking this problem clear to Gov. Foster. We might not get a lucky breaknext time.

Leonard Gray is a reporter for L’Observateur.

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

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