MONROE, La. – Taxpayers in northeast 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 Monroe.
DOTD received $695 million in additional funding to be used for road construction, preconstruction, ports and flood protection projects across the state. More than $75 million will be spent on 32 projects in Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, West Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union and Winn parishes. One of the larger projects, the widening of Farmerville Highway (La. 33) in Lincoln Parish from Interstate 20 to La. 821, will receive $16.8 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 resurface a 6-mile section of U.S. 165 in Caldwell Parish from Columbia to Riverton Park Road ($1.2 million) is already under construction. The majority of the remaining projects – like the new foundation and surface of La. 15 in Franklin Parish from Winnsboro to Baskin ($5.2 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.