Transportation in Louisiana will be hot button issue this session
Posted on 1/18/2016 3:45:00 AM.
Michelle Southern reporting.
Transportation is expected to be a major topic in the upcoming regular session. Governor John Bel Edwards says he showed President Barack Obama the single lane of traffic motorists must pass through in Baton Rouge on I-10 when going from west to east.

Edwards says he told the president that it was the only place on the 2,460 mile interstate with a single lane.

"He saw how that was turning into a bottle neck that's threatening the movement of goods and commerce and freight," said Edwards. "And that's the subject of the transportation bill that Congress passed this year."

Lafayette Senator Page Cortez was chosen to chair the Senate Transportation Committee. He says it's great news that we could potentially be getting some federal funds to help with Louisiana's roads. 

Cortez says another major project for the state is the I-49 connector in Lafayette.

"It's not only a hurricane evacuation route, it's also a major energy corridor," said Cortez. "I hope we can advance these projects over the next four years and move forward."

Louisiana has at least a $12 billion dollar backlog in improving its road and bridge system. Cortez says Edwards has committed to work to stop shifting money from the state's gas-tax funded Transportation Trust Fund to State Police. 

He says making that happen will be priority number one.

"We have to be honest with the people of the state and spend the tax dollars that are dedicated to certain entities, like the trust fund to roads," said Cortez. "We have to be spending it on roads. We can't spend it on State Police."

transportation, transportation trust fund, page cortez, john bel edwards, president barack obama, roads, state police

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