2003 Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan
Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) began an effort in mid-2000 to update
the State's transportation plan. Louisiana is a model for how each transportation mode plays a vital
role in moving both passengers and freight, and the DOTD hoped to build upon recent studies that
articulated this point.
Louisiana's water ports, some of the largest in the country, are critical for the movement of raw
materials and finished products in support of the agricultural, mining, and industrial base of the
State and other areas of the United States, particularly the Midwest. The State's aviation sector
provides vital air service for business travel and tourism, and for the movement of time-sensitive,
highvalue cargo. Public transportation in Louisiana is imperative in workforce development and the
State faces an increasing segment of the population that is becoming transit-dependent. Further, the
DOTD has recognized the importance of providing choices in transportation modes to as much of the
population as practicable. The State's railroads are key players in moving freight and to some extent
passengers. The interaction between modes is critical to the efficiencies needed to move the State's
economy forward. The highway mode continues to be the cornerstone mode with which all others interact.
In addition to providing door-to-door service, trucking provides the connectivity with ports, rail,
and aviation. The highway system directly impacts the entire population due to its implications for
personal mobility, the standard of living, and economic security. Highways are crucial to both
tourism and to commerce, and their condition directly impacts the economy.
Finally, Louisiana needs to foster growth in the economy and in overall population. A safe, efficient,
and well-maintained transportation system can be a catalyst for economic growth, while a poor system
can be an impediment.