The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that it will award Louisiana $863 million in additional federal transportation funds. The following is a statement in response from Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development:
“On behalf of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and the citizens of Louisiana, I would like to thank U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and his agency for supporting our state’s recovery efforts. By providing Louisiana with the tools to restore our state’s infrastructure, you also are helping to restore our spirit. For that, we are immensely grateful.
“To the citizens of Louisiana and to those across the nation, be assured that this money will be spent wisely and consistently with the manner in which we fixed the I-10 ‘twin-span’ bridge. The bridge was repaired ahead of schedule, and the bid came in $20 million lower than the estimated cost. This example of efficiency is one that we expect to replicate in future work across South Louisiana.
“The money will be used to repair roads and bridges damaged by the hurricanes, to pick up and dispose of debris, to fix and replace traffic signals in the affected areas and to build a new, elevated, six-lane ‘twin-span’ bridge. Some $629 million of the total is designated for the new bridge between Slidell and New Orleans, and bids will be taken in the spring.
“Including the $100 million received previously, DOTD has received a total of $963 million in emergency transportation funds from the Federal Highway Administration. We had requested $1.148 billion – the difference representing a contingency factor built in to cover rising construction costs and future inflation. The FHWA has committed to covering those rising costs, and we thank them for that as well.”