LAKE CHARLES, La. – Taxpayers in southwest Louisiana will see welcomed improvement to roads thanks to surplus funds received from the 2007 Legislative Session, said DOTD today at a news conference in Lake Charles.
DOTD received $695 million in additional funding to be used for road construction, preconstruction, ports and flood protection projects across the state. More than $39 million will be spent on 15 projects in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes. One of larger projects, the widening of Leesville Highway (La. 28) from La. 465 to the Rapides Parish line, will receive more than $10 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. 26 in Allen Parish from La. 104 to the Jefferson Davis Parish line ($3.2 million) is already under construction. The majority of the remaining projects – like the resurfacing of La. 27 in Cameron Parish from La. 82 to La. 390 ($4.3 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 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.