Louisiana to Spend $270 Million on Locally Owned Bridges

Louisiana to Spend $270 Million on Domestically Owned Bridges

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To stem the tide towards state closures of unsafe bridges, Louisiana will obtain $270 million in federal funds to repair domestically owned off-system bridges.

Gov. John Bel Edwards joined state Division of Transportation and Growth officers Oct. 5 to tour a poor, domestically owned bridge in East Baton Rouge that was load posted in January. It’s one in every of 500 bridges eligible for federal funding via the bipartisan infrastructure regulation.

Edwards introduced the funding will assist rehabilitate domestically owned bridges deemed off-system since they belong to cities and parishes moderately than the state.

Presently, 16% of Louisiana’s 4,700 off-system bridges should be repaired or changed. Thus far, 31 domestically owned bridges have been closed this yr, greater than the 25 off-system bridges closed in 2021.

“The power to completely fund these bridge tasks will profit hundreds of residents throughout the state of Louisiana, a lot of them in rural areas,” Edwards mentioned.

To expedite funding for refurbishments, DOTD has contracted with consultants to work with parish officers in every of the 9 DOTD districts to find out what bridges can be repaired or changed that meet federal eligibility necessities.

“Bridges join communities and, with an getting older infrastructure system, we’re actively working to make sure continued connectivity for all sorts of street customers in these parishes,” mentioned DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. “Executing a marketing consultant contract for every district will enable us to hurry up the challenge growth course of and take advantage of this historic funding in our infrastructure system whereas counting on native management for prioritization.”

In January, the U.S. Division of Transportation launched a $26.5 billion bridge components grant program administered by the Federal Freeway Administration to restore off-system bridges in addition to 15,000 freeway bridges.

Louisiana is anticipated to obtain $1 billion over the following 5 years in FHWA bridge components funds.

Below this system, states can search funds to pay for 100% of the prices to repair or substitute off-system bridges as an alternative of getting to match as much as 20% of the federal {dollars} with state or native funding.

Louisiana has the third-largest bridge infrastructure within the nation with 7,846 state-owned bridges, of which 795 want main rehabilitation or substitute.

Lots of the state’s bridges, together with these on interstates, are 45 to 65 years outdated.

The Edwards administration has allotted roughly $270 million particularly to restore and substitute off-system bridges.

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