Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. announced that DOTD has received $76.2 million in federal funds that will be used to quickly advance highway projects including bridge replacements and highway expansions. This is the 19th year in a row the state has received these redistributed funds, a validation of the department’s efficiency in managing projects and funding. The department qualified for the additional federal funds after successfully allocating the full amount of its available federal funding to construction projects for the 2018-19 federal fiscal year, and having the necessary match dollars available.
“This award is a testament to the proven track record this administration has had to advance, prioritize and improve our state's infrastructure,” said Gov. Edwards. “Under Secretary Wilson’s leadership, DOTD has been able to use all the federal resources available which has allowed us to take advantage of the federal redistribution allocation year after year. These additional funds will allow us to continue to advance projects across the state.”
“We appreciate the USDOT’s allocation of these funds,” said Secretary Wilson. “These funds will allow us to advance critical projects that have been previously identified in the area of maintenance, preservation, and capacity. As with previous redistributed funds, we have ensured these allocations will impact all areas across the state.”
The $76.2 million in additional funding will be used for the expansion of I-12 between U.S. 190 and LA 59 and on five bridge replacement projects around the state.
The I-12 project will add a third lane in each direction and include new bridges over U.S. 190 and Ponchitolawa Creek/Tammany Trace. St. Tammany Parish is contributing $8 million to the project. DOTD is partnering with St. Tammany Parish for several projects on I-12, including the section between LA 21 and U.S. 190, for which the parish received a $25 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in December 2018. DOTD is also preparing plans for the third phase of I-12 improvements from LA 1077 to U.S. 190.
The bridge projects to be funded include the following:
Each year the U.S. Department of Transportation redistributes federal funding from budgeted funds that were not used by other states or national programs to those states that successfully obligated their full federal highway funding allotment during the fiscal year, which is from October 1 through September 30. DOTD will use the newly awarded additional funds on projects where the funds can be obligated by September 30, 2019 and were included in the state’s Highway Priority Program.