A proposal to study an alternative route for an I-49 South route that would bypass Lafayette to the east and instead go through rural St. Martin Parish has been tabled for this year.

The "study request" for what is being called the "Teche Ridge" was filed by Representative Terry Landry of Lafayette and Representative Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge. Teche Ridge would bypass Lafayette, breaking away from I-49 near Carencro and then reconnect with U.S. 90 south of Youngsville. The idea was born more than 10 years ago but never got traction.

Landry says he's not advocating the Teche Ridge route but wants DOTD to at least study the alternative route to determine if it will cost less money and have less impact on existing neighborhoods than the current plan for I-49 South through Lafayette. Recent estimates put the cost of elevating I-49 through Lafayette and upgrading U.S. 90 to interstate standards in Iberia Parish at more than $1-billion.

Landry says he will try again next year to have the project examined if there is no movement on the current plan for I-49 South.