LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — State officials say a nearly 130-year-old brick building in the right of way of the planned Interstate 49 connector will be demolished despite appeals from the Downtown Development Authority and others to spare the structure.

The dispute involves vacant buildings in the block bounded by Third, Grant, Second and Cypress streets near the downtown railroad tracks.

Development authority CEO Nathan Norris tells The Advocate his primary concern is the oldest building, a two-story brick structure built in 1885.

The state Department of Transportation and Development bought most of the block as right of way for a future I-49 interchange and plans to demolish the buildings there.

Department spokesman Rodney Mallett says the property eventually must be cleared for the project and the department sees no reason to delay.

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