BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Sherri H. LeBas requested that the State Bond Commission bond all three years of the Quality Surface Program in an effort to take full advantage of the low interest rates. Due to the historic low interest rate, bonding the full amount for all three years now, rather than breaking the financing into multiple years, makes sound fiscal sense.
This historic resurfacing program was made possible through legislation sponsored by Governor Bobby Jindal allowing for the bonding of the State Highway Improvement Fund (SHIF) revenue stream for non-federal aid routes. The bonded funds, combined with the SHIF’s regular funds, will allow the state to improve the quality of roadways, many in rural areas that haven’t been repaired in over 30 years due to lack of funding.
In September, the Bond Commission approved securing bond counsel and underwriters in order to receive financial information on the sale of the bonds. The intention in securing this counsel was to ensure that the state undertook the best financial deal possible. Based on that information, Secretary LeBas requested that the State Bond Commission bond all three years of the Quality Surface Program to take full advantage of the current low interest rates.
At tomorrow’s bond commission hearing, the commission will provide direction and authority to the solicitation team on moving forward with the financing of the Quality Surface Program’s $325 - $390 million bond effort.
The bonded funds, dependant on the market, will provide between $325 - $390 million for the state to repair and resurface more than 700 miles of roadway.
At the hearing, the Bond Commission will be presented the analysis related to issuing the entire amount now or doing it in 2 or 3 issues and will make the final determination related to the financing of this program.
The three year program, combined with the State Highway Improvement Fund (SHIF) regular funds, includes approximately $425 - $490 million in projects to repair and resurface nearly 1,100 miles of roadway segments across Louisiana. Projects in the program were selected through DOTD’s priority program based on traffic volumes and roadway assessments, with the first year of projects having been submitted to the bond commission. The second year of projects has been going through the highway priority program Road Show public comment process and has been submitted to the Joint Transportation Committee, while year-three projects will also be selected through DOTD’s highway priority program. DOTD plans to accept bids for the first-year projects beginning in January 2013.
"We want to utilize the most efficient and effective plan to maximize the bond issuance. This is a prudent plan that makes good fiscal sense, builds roads, and saves taxpayer dollars." said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas.
Non-Federal Aid routes are made up of mostly rural roads. Unlike major roadways, Non-Federal Aid routes are not eligible for matching funds from the federal government, which means there is less money available to fund projects for rural roads throughout the state. The State Highway Improvement Fund receives dedicated funding from commercial vehicle registration and license fees.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.