Louisiana is receiving $863 million in additional federal transportation funds to repair hurricane-damaged roads, including $629 million for a new I-10 bridge in New Orleans, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta recently announced.
The new funds also cover repairs to the existing I-10 Twin Span bridge between New Orleans and Slidell, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina but reopened ahead of schedule to four lanes of traffic in early January. In addition, some of the money will pay the cost of clearing debris from highways immediately after the storm.
“These much needed funds move us one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to getting the economy moving again in New Orleans,” said Mineta. “With the proper resources we will get residents, visitors and goods moving again throughout this vibrant region.”
Today’s funding is part of a $2.75 billion highway-aid package for Gulf Coast states requested by President Bush and approved by Congress the end of last year, according to Mineta. To date Louisiana has received a total of $963 million to repair or rebuild federally supported highways and bridges in the aftermath of Katrina. The Department previously provided $100 million in emergency highway funding to the state.
Louisiana estimates a new I-10 bridge will cost $803 million. Additional costs above the $629 million included for the bridge’s construction in this announcement are also eligible for federal emergency relief funding at a later date, Mineta said.