BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION: La. governor wants to use oil spill money for bridge work

Officials want to make sure the move is legal under the Restore Act

Bridges News September 18, 2015
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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants oil spill money to spill over into his infrastructure spending.

Jindal asked the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to consider allowing the state to use a portion of the BP oil spill settlement to pay for part of the $350 million Louisiana 1 bridge that connects Port Fourchon with Golden Meadow. Any funding left over from the $700 million awarded to pay for coastal restoration and other work following one of the worst oil spills in history would be used on Louisiana 1.

Some officials and lawmakers object to such a move, and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority postponed voting on the matter. The extra time would give lawmakers a chance to make sure the special funding was legal under the Restore Act, which does state the money could be used for infrastructure projects. Officials, however, are not sure if bridge work falls into that category.

BP also will give Louisiana $1 billion in economic damages, which also could be used for the Louisiana 1 bridge, but most of that money has already been tabbed for other uses/projects.

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