The City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on an introductory ordinance that, if approved, would pave the way for a partnership with the Southern University Law Center with a goal of addressing blighted properties in the future Interstate 49 connector corridor.

The area running along the current Evangeline Thruway skirting downtown Lafayette is still — although it has largely dropped out of public conversation and legislative attention — the planned route for an elevated freeway extending I-49 through the city, despite the likelihood that the project will not happen for many years due to a lack of funding. The connector plan is an outgrowth of the Lafayette in a Century Plan, a precursor to the current comprehensive master plan that was put together in the late 1990s and more or less shelved.

Under the terms of the ordinance, LCG and Southern U.’s Law Center would work together via an intergovernmental agreement to address blight by clearing up titles to abandoned and dilapidated properties and moving them into adjudication, allowing local government to gain possession of the properties and remove them. Funding for the project would be sought through a National Science Foundation grant.

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