I-49 'Connector' Planned for Historic Black Neighborhood in Louisiana

A record of decision is expected soon for a plan to build a freeway connector through the neighborhood of Allendale in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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March 12, 2021, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Highway Building

Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments / I-49 Inner-City Connector Project

An article by TW Starr Timothy Magner provides an update on the I-49 Inner-City Connector Project that is expected soon for a record of decision, setting the stage for a showdown for groups on either side of the issue.

"The I-49 Inner City Connector will be a new interstate facility approximately 3.6 miles in length. It is proposed to intersect Shreveport in order to connect I-49 at the I-20 interchange with I-49 North in the vicinity of the I-220 interchange, according to the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments website for the project.

The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce is rolling out a marketing campaign in support of the project. Timothy Magner, president of the chamber, is quoted in the article touting the benefits of the project for the business community.

A coalition in the Allendale neighborhood of Shreveport called Allendale Strong is mobilizing grassroots opposition to the project. "The folks with Allendale Strong would prefer a route they are calling a business boulevard be built that would connect with North Market Street and go up to I-220," explains Starr.

Allendale is a historic Black neighborhood defined by poverty in contemporary times. As noted by a January Wall Street Journal article written by Howard Husock, Allendale was the home of legendary musician Lead Belly, among numerous other cultural and economic contributions through its history.

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