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Contact: Christine Payton Feb. 14, 2012
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
I-10/University Ave. Gateway to Lafayette, and to University, nears completion
A project to improve one of the Lafayette’s primary gateways is beginning its final phase. Painting the fourth and final mural at the University Avenue and Interstate 10 interchange has begun thanks to the artistic contribution of Robert Dafford and Dafford Murals. The mural is scheduled for completion by the end of this month.

Under the leadership of the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation and its director, Jan Swift, many entities have joined forces to clean up and revitalize the "Gateway to UL Lafayette" since 2009. The heavily traveled area of the Hub City has seen several improvements since the work began.

Several sets of donated trees were planted at the interstate exit:

• Apache Corporation donated an initial set of 100 crepe myrtle trees which were planted by McDonald's Corporation of Acadiana.

• Under the design direction of Jim Foret with UL Lafayette, Jeff Olivier of Olivier's Sprinklers & Drainage volunteered the man hours to dig the holes and prep the ground for planting and additional 300 red and white crepe myrtles (also donated by Apache Corporation) which were planted by volunteers from Stone Energy Corporation on the grassy berm along I-10 at University Avenue.

World-renowned mural artist Robert Dafford has begun his fourth and final mural at the intersection which will depict academic life at UL Lafayette. All four murals have been underwritten by grants from the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, which were approved with assistance from (former) Senator Mike Michot and Representative Joel Robideaux. In addition, Dafford has personally donated his time and that of his crew.

Other Lafayette stakeholders have supported this ongoing effort including Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel and Director of Community Development Ben Berthelot, UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie, DOTD, and Foret and Professor Tom Sammons.

To assist in the tree plantings, Honda of Lafayette owner Mike Roberts has donated storage space for the crepe myrtles and has helped bring the trees on-site for planting.

Document last revised Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:07 PM

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