There are some major changes coming to a section of West Congress Street in Lafayette.

West Congress Street starting at its intersection at Grant and Second Streets all the way to Evangeline Drive will go from multiple lanes of traffic to two lanes of traffic with a turning lane.

The changes also will allow for on-street parking and safer walking areas for pedestrians according to Lafayette City Parish government officials.

This past Saturday the first part of the project was started when the contractor started to remove the existing markings on the street.

The roadway will then be restriped.  This will include making on-street parking slots, the new driving lanes and the new turning lane.  This section of road will also have crosswalks and sidewalks.

The whole project is expected to be finished sometime in the next few weeks, but that is weather permitting.

Warren Abadie, LCG Chief Traffic Engineer, says,

“This restripe will adjust motorists to an appropriate speed in an area that sees a lot of pedestrian traffic, especially since the re-opening of the Main Library. As part of the project, we analyzed the safety data along this section of Congress Street and found a significant number of traffic crashes. We also analyzed the existing traffic conditions and confirmed that the increase in traffic delays would be minimal when compared to the expected safety benefits.”

According to government officials, national studies show these types of street changes make transportation safer for everyone.