BATON ROUGE, La. – Taxpayers in the Baton Rouge metro area and surrounding parishes will see welcomed improvement to roads thanks to surplus funds received from the 2007 Legislative Session, said DOTD today at a news conference in Baton Rouge.
DOTD received $695 million in additional funding to be used for road construction, preconstruction, ports and flood protection projects across the state. More than $100 million will be spent on 37 projects in Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena and St. Mary parishes. One of the larger projects, widening Interstate 10 from the I-10/I-12 split to Siegen Lane, will receive $30 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 project to widen North Range Road (La. 16) from Denham Springs to Watson ($7.7 million) is already under construction. The majority of the remaining projects – like the resurfacing of Airline Highway (U.S. 61) from Old Perkins Road (La. 427) to Pecue Lane ($6.6 million) – have received bids or will soon receive 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 email@example.com. The center is open 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.