COVINGTON, La. – Taxpayers on the Northshore will see welcomed improvement to roads thanks to surplus funds received from the 2007 Legislative Session, said DOTD today at a news conference in Covington.
DOTD received $695 million in additional funding to be used for road construction, preconstruction, ports and flood protection projects across the state. More than $50 million will be spent on 13 projects in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and St. John parishes. The largest of these projects, the I-55 overlay from La. 10 to La. 1049, will receive more than $20 million in surplus funds.
"The surplus funds are just what Louisiana roads need," said DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry. "DOTD is moving quickly to start construction on these projects because we know the positive impact they have in local communities."
The resurfacing of La. 442 from Interstate 55 to La. 1063 ($1 million) is already under construction. The remaining projects – like the resurfacing of just over 2 miles of U.S. 61 in St. John Parish, starting at the St. Charles Parish line ($1.2 million) – have received bids from contractors with plans for construction to begin in 2008.
The $695 million is a one-time allocation from the Legislature and the governor. DOTD’s main source of funding road and bridge construction is through the 16-cent state gasoline tax, which does not keep up with inflation and has lost about half of its value since 1984. As a result, Louisiana now has about $14 billion in road and bridge projects it cannot afford to complete.
For questions or concerns about DOTD projects, contact DOTD’s Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The center is open 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.