Louisiana Will Receive $100 Million More in Funding

Sept. 2, 2022
The funds will go to multiple projects across the state

Louisiana will see an extra $100 million in federal funding that went unused by other states, announced officials on Tuesday. 

Governor John Bel Edwards said it is the largest amount Louisiana has collected after successfully obligating the full amount of its federal assistance for 2021-22.

The new allocation totals $97.8 million. The previous high was $80 million in 2018. How it will be used is unclear, but Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) officials said the aid will allow work to be accelerated.

"Our infrastructure has many needs, and the department will use the redistributed funds to address these needs on projects across the state," DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said in a statement.

U.S. Representative Garret Graves of Baton Rouge, a member of the U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the money should be used to help lay the groundwork for a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge.

"Anyone that has traveled in or through Louisiana recently can tell you the experience is awful and there are even more growing pains in the capital region on the horizon because of the ongoing construction," Graves said. "We need solutions now. I-10 is expected to become an even worse epicenter of traffic and loss of life.

"The state needs to take these lagniappe dollars — pile them onto the other billions we’ve secured in infrastructure investments — and put them toward no-regrets strategies to meet the present and future demand. Otherwise, our evacuation routes, safety, economic development and more stand to lose. The cost of inaction is even more significant now than ever before."

The state plans to widen Interstate 10 between La. 415 and the I-10/12 split, a $1.2 billion project that includes the closing of one lane in each direction for about one year between Acadian Thruway and just east of the Mississippi River bridge.

Officials have three final site possibilities for a new bridge, which could cost up to $3 billion, including access roads and other expenses. All three possibilities are in Iberville Parish, just south of Plaquemine on the west side and St. Gabriel on the east.

The state has collected $630 million in unused federal revenue from other states in the past dozen years, according to the LaDOTD.

"Our administration has worked to maximize federal funding for transportation projects since the day I took office in 2016," Edwards said in a statement. "It is a testament to DOTD's efforts to use every bit of its obligated federal funding. These additional funds will help the state move many projects forward."


Source: LaDOTD

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