Describing Louisiana’s infrastructure as “crumbling” the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) handed out poor grades for the state’s road (D) and bridge (D+) network. Airports received a C.
About 50 volunteers, most of them civil engineers, reviewed technical reports, inspection records, budgets, maintenance schedules and other documents to form a 57-page report card.
“Louisiana’s infrastructure needs immediate attention,” Kam Movassaghi, executive director of the state’s branch of the ASCE and former secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LDOTD), said. “Obviously the issue is always funding.”
The Louisiana state legislature has not come through with needed funding in recent years, and the gas tax has remained at 16 cents per gallon since 1984. However, current LDOTD Secretary Sherry LeBas said as much as $4.1 billion has been spent on infrastructure since 2008, which has trimmed the backlog of road and bridge projects from $14 billion to $12.4 billion.
Movassaghi hoped state politicians, including LeBas, would take the report seriously, and called for a public awareness campaign to address the infrastructure situation in the state.