Nearly fifty years ago, the Evangeline Thruway destroyed the heart of its community in Lafayette, Louisiana. Now a new interstate could possibly do the same damage.

Eric Jaffe of City Lab writes things in the area are improving, with better neighborhood groups and revitalization of pockets and strips of the urban area. However, the new Interstate 49, which will replace the Thruway, could possibly diminish the progress the community has made since the Evangeline Thruway. However, officials believe this time around the results will be better.

“These types of facilities, a long time ago when they were built right through the heart of a city, caused damage,” says Toby Picard of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the I-49 Connector project manager. “The idea is to work with the community … for enhancements to the project that make the area an attractive place. A place that’s more inclined to draw people in as opposed to pushing people out.”

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