Baton Rouge – Today, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. announced that five Louisiana applicants are set to receive a total of $63.1 million in federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The RAISE grant program is the first discretionary funding program to accept applications as directed by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“The good news keeps coming for our roads, bridges, rails and ports,” said Gov. Edwards. “The state and our local partners are not letting these generational opportunities to make long-needed upgrades pass us by. We’re especially excited to see these RAISE grants be used to increase the transportation options available to our people. Special thanks to U.S. DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his staff for making this grant available so quickly, and to Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Troy Carter for their bipartisan efforts in fighting for improvements to benefit Louisiana’s infrastructure and voting for the bill that made this funding possible.” 

In Louisiana, RAISE grants will be allocated as follows:

  • $22,164,000: Roadway and intersection improvements on the healthcare corridor near the intersection of I-49 and I-20 in Shreveport; includes reconstructed roadways and transit bus pull-outs, bus rapid transit with electric bus technology, ADA improvements, traffic signal and emergency vehicle preemption improvements, pedestrian facilities including a pedestrian bridge, protected bicycle lanes, and street lighting.
  • $20,000,000: Right-of-way acquisition, design, and construction of the Baton Rouge Train Station and Gonzales Train Station along the planned Baton Rouge-New Orleans (BR-NO) Inter-City Rail Service, including ADA accessible platforms and stations and supporting infrastructure.
  • $17,253,272: Rehabilitation of the Texas Street Business Corridor from the Highway 1 South Bypass to Washington Street in Natchitoches; includes rehabilitation of roads and drainage facilities, new pavement, new and widened sidewalks, walking paths, and dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes.
  • $2,626,679: Replacement of the existing closed, dilapidated Valentine Pontoon Bridge over Bayou Lafourche on LA 1 and LA 308 between Lockport and Larose with a more modern pontoon bridge.
  • $1,099,455: Replacement of a gravel roadway with a hard-surface roadway to the Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry facility; includes the addition of a new southbound left turn lane on LA 23, a northbound deceleration turn lane and acceleration lane, subsurface drainage improvements, and a parking area to accommodate commuters.

The RAISE grant program was previously referred to as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants. According to the U.S. DOT, the RAISE grant program allows recipients to move forward with infrastructure projects that are more difficult to support through traditional funding programs. The grant allows applicants to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that are critical to state and community infrastructure.

“Congratulations to the five projects that received funding,” said DOTD Secretary Wilson. “This additional funding is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed last year, and we’re only just starting to see the immense benefits it will provide to our state. We’re proud to work with our parish and city partners to deliver improvements to our state’s infrastructure and to give Louisiana’s residents and visitors the transportation system they deserve. While several communities applied and did not receive funding for their projects, we encourage them to re-apply and submit again in the future.” 

The $1.5 billion in available RAISE funding for 2022 represents a 50 percent increase in available funds compared to last year, when applicants requested $10 in funding for every $1 available. In 2021, RAISE funded 90 projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

For more information about the RAISE grant, please visit the U.S. DOT’s website.