Governor John Bel Edwards and State Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson are in Washington to discuss infrastructure plans with the Trump Administration. Reports indicate the President could soon unveil a massive new infrastructure spending plan. Wilson says today’s roundtable discussion is a great opportunity to bring attention to the state’s aging infrastructure
“This is an opportunity to put a focus on the nation’s infrastructure and Louisiana is absolutely a poster child for needing additional investment,” Wilson said.
The reports indicate the President could be seeking as much as 1.5 trillion dollars in new infrastructure spending. Wilson says if the feds put up that kind of money, the state would immediately get to work on a twenty year backlog of projects.
“We’ve got a list of projects that if we can find the funds, we can build some really good projects…things that folks have always told us they wanted but we’ve never had the resources to really put together.”
The White House has indicated states may be required to put up additional matching dollars to get access to the potential wealth of federal infrastructure dollars. If so, Wilson says failing to pass a gas tax increase could make it tough to get those funds.
“That would have been the best opportunity to position us to be successful and I know the governor is committed and I’m committed to trying to make things happen so that we can take advantage of the federal dollars.”