LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Supporters of completing Interstate 49 from Lafayette to New Orleans are working to pull together a nonprofit coalition with a full-time executive director to help move the project forward.

State Sen. R.L. Allain II says two key factors in the renewed push to complete I-49 south will be soliciting more involvement from the industries that depend on the highway and hiring a full-time director to keep the effort focused and on track.

The work to upgrade U.S. 90 to interstate standards has progressed steadily in recent years.

But an estimated $5 billion in work remains for the two most expensive portions — the partially elevated stretch through Lafayette and the southern leg from Raceland into the New Orleans area.