Shreveport, LA – In a stunning turn of events Friday, the Federal Highway Administration and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development formally announced the final route of an unfinished three-mile stretch of I-49 will go through outer space.
“Here’s the deal,” Federal Highway Administration spokesman Greg Johnson said. “Every route we choose pisses somebody off, so we chose this alternative to the alternatives. This route avoids everyone. Actually, now that I think about it, this route avoids life forms all together.”
Instead of finishing I-49 through Allendale, the formal route now calls for traffic to exit at the I-20 and I-49 interchange onto what is tentatively being called the Deep Space Connector, or DSC. The 14-quadrillion-mile-long segment of highway will then reconnect with I-49 near North Market Street.
Top executives with the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments lauded the final decision, emphasizing that the completion of I-49 is crucial to the economic wellbeing of North Louisiana – even if it involves a slight detour through the vast, unknown expanses of space-time.
“Not only are we making a bright future possible for Northwest Louisiana,” NLCOG President Dan Fromm said, “but we might also finally come into contact with beings from another galaxy in the process. So, it’s really getting stoned with two birds – if you know what I mean.”
The plan is not without risks. The elaborate multi-quintillion dollar scheme hinges on engineers’ ability to design carbon nanotubes that will keep I-49 tethered to Earth. The state-of-the-art nanotubes will keep the interstate from drifting dangerously far into deep space.
“We plan on using only cutting-edge technology when routing traffic outside our atmosphere,” Fromm said. “The cylindrical nanostructure of these nifty little allotropes will make the Deep Space Connector possible. Also, for the record, I think Nifty Little Allotropes would be a great band name.”
Fromm, who has been with the NLCOG for fifteen years, actually conceived the idea for the Deep Space Connector.
“I don’t really remember how I came up with it,” he said. “I’m pretty sure I was drunk at the time. Somewhere on Line Avenue.”
At the press conference, Federal Highway Administration spokesman Greg Johnson made assurances that though building a highway in the life-sucking, soul-less vacuum of space is dangerous, it presents opportunities as well.
“Civil engineering in space is a little quirky but exciting,” Johnson said. “Engineers have to take into consideration the highway design as well as the possible quantum entanglements of the space-time continuum. According to Einstein, if you drive on the proposed Deep Space Connector fast enough, you’ll actually get back to Shreveport before you left. Trippy, right?”
The 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act authorized Interstate 49 finished from Shreveport-Bossier, through the farthest un-probed corners of the cosmos, and ultimately reaching Kansas City, Missouri.
“We know it’s an imposition to add a couple dozen light years to your commute, but compromise is the name of the game here,” Johnson said. “We are trying to make everyone happy.”
Sylvia Latham, an opponent of the controversial, previously-proposed Inner City Connector, sees the announcement as a victory.
“When we promoted the ‘Loop It’ campaign, we really didn’t think the loop would go beyond the known limits of the Universe,” Latham said. “But it’s a victory nonetheless. I’m just waiting for the ‘I-Can-See-Uranus-From-I-49’ jokes to start.”
Mayor Ollie Tyler spoke at the press conference about the decision of the impact on Shreveport.
“Well, I think it’s exciting,” she said. “The financing of the Deep Space Connector is our biggest concern right now. It will probably have to be funded with a combination of Federal monies, taxes, and some sort of New World Government cryptocurrency that hasn’t even been invented yet.”
The push to complete the final three miles of I-49 has taken years, but it is a fight that according to Dan Fromm was worth fighting.
“This actually would have taken a lot longer to get going,” Fromm said, “Strangely, we didn’t need an environmental impact study [for the DSC] because there’s literally no environment in space. Cha-ching!”
Expected completion of the Deep Space Connector is Stardate 8130.3.