Our highways, railways, airports, ports and waterways, and transit systems help to drive our economy. A multimodal transportation system can build a stronger and more connected Louisiana, a healthier economy, and more vibrant communities by acknowledging and acting on the following principles:

  • Transportation connects people to opportunity and can invigorate opportunity within communities. To the greatest extent possible, we should support transportation projects that do both.
  • We cannot change the past, but we can ensure that current and future transportation projects connect and strengthen communities, including areas that have, in the past, been on the wrong side of transportation.  Doing so creates value in communities.
  • Transportation facilities should be built by, for, and with the communities impacted by them. Development of transportation facilities should meaningfully reflect and incorporate the input of all people and communities they touch.
  • We have to understand and embrace that investments in infrastructure creates jobs  and generates direct and indirect revenue for our citizens to be meaningful participants in our economy.

 

Louisiana faces a $12.7 billion backlog of transportation construction projects. Addressing this backlog of projects will not only serve the people of our state, but also will support our state’s economy. Some of our transportation issues pose national and international challenges that must be addressed. In the past, funds meant for transportation have been diverted for other uses and transportation projects have not always been a big enough priority in the state’s Capital Outlay budget.

Recently, dollars spent directly on the transportation system have dwindled and  the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is now concentrating on sustaining the state’s aging infrastructure instead of building for our future. An infusion of dollars into Louisiana’s transportation system would put these improvements back on track to deliver the future we deserve – one that will grow our economy while enhancing our quality of life.  Possible options for addressing the state’s transportation issues include committing $1 billion each year to support new transportation construction and looking at a number of revenue-raising measures and federal partnership opportunities to fund this critical work, among other things.

 

Governor Edwards’ major goals for improving transportation and infrastructure in Louisiana include the following:

Ending the practice of using the state Transportation Trust Fund for alternative purposes and ultimately restoring the trust in the Transportation Trust Fund.

  • Gov. Edwards’ first budget completely eliminates funding for traffic safety with the Louisiana State Police and doubles the Port Priority Program.

Committing over 25 percent of the annual capital outlay cash capacity to construction for roads and bridges – increasing the state commitment to these projects to $108 million in the Capital Outlay Bill for FY17.

  • The governor’s first capital outlay proposal reintroduces reality to the capital program of the state by eliminating commitments to non-essential capital projects and refocusing the bill on multimodal infrastructure.

Maximizing the use of federal funds, which will greatly expand Louisiana’s ability to address the backlog of transportation infrastructure projects plaguing our state.

  • DOTD is taking steps to submit an application for $100 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements that will facilitate and leverage major multimodal investments in I-10 in Baton Rouge, address the reconstruction of the Loyola Interchange to the airport in Orleans & Jefferson, and by advancing freight rail investments that offer potential for improved freight movement and introduction of passenger rail.  Our case has been made to President Obama, Vice President Biden, and USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Addressing a long-term sustainable plan to reduce Louisiana’s current $12.7 billion backlog of transportation infrastructure projects.

  • After the Legislature addresses structural budget issues, exacerbated by failed leadership from the previous administration, that left the state with unprecedented deficits, the Edwards administration will pivot to lay out a plan to give the citizens a transportation infrastructure it deserves.