By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) June 28 signed a bill into law that appropriates $700 million from the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill settlement to transportation construction projects across the state.

Projects to receive funding under the new law include:

  • I-49 North Inter-City Connector in Caddo Parish;
  • Sugarhouse Road Extension in Rapides Parish;
  • Hooper Road Widening in East Baton Rouge Parish;
  • LA-3241 extension from I-12 to Bush in St. Tammany Parish;
  • I-49 South through Acadiana;  and
  • LA-1 at Leeville improvements in Lafourche Parish.

The law also allocates $125 million to construct a 2.7-mile connector from the LA-415/ Lobdell Hwy I-10 exit to LA-1 in West Baton Rouge Parish. This project will consist of the construction of a new four-lane roadway between LA-1 near LA-988 (Beaulieu Lane) and I-10 at the LA-415 interchange, in addition to a bridge over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Elevated structures will be required for much of the project, including flyover ramps from northbound LA-1 to southbound LA-1.

While the new revenue is a significant step, it will not be able to meet the state’s $14 billion transportation funding backlog.

“These transportation needs are crucial throughout the state and impact our economy and quality of life,” said Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development Secretary Shawn Wilson. Wilson is a featured panelist at ARTBA’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation Conference, July 17-19, in Washington, D.C.

ARTBA’s National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates is July 17 at the some hotel.