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Louisiana DOTD Secretary Wilson Receives Trailblazer of the Year Award from ARTBA

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces that Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. was recently honored with the 2020 Trailblazer of the Year award from the American Road & Transportation Builder’s Association (ARTBA) at the 32nd Annual P3s in Transportation Virtual Conference.

The award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to — and advocacy for — the forward progress of P3s (public private partnerships) in the U.S. transportation industry.

Since his appointment as Secretary of DOTD by Governor John Bel Edwards in 2016, Wilson has advocated for identifying, researching, and pushing for new avenues of revenue, as well as maximizing Federal transportation dollars available to Louisiana to deliver decades of old projects through innovation.

“I’m grateful that my leadership, and ultimately, the Office of Innovative Procurement that we created in Governor Edward’s first term, continues to move Louisiana’s transportation system forward and have been recognized by ARTBA,” Wilson said. “It’s no secret that innovation in funding our infrastructure needs, specifically P3’s, will continue to be key in seeing critical projects reach construction, and I’m proud to work with a team in the private sector and at DOTD that shares this vision.”

This national award also recognizes Wilson’s efforts on the state’s success in discretionary competitions. The state recently was awarded its fourth federal competitive grant, and largest in the nation with the $135-million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant for LA 1 in Golden Meadow. Louisiana is also utilizing its procurement of $650 million in GARVEE Bonds for the Barksdale Project, the Loyola interchange project, the I-10 Urban Interstate Reconstruction, and entered in the state’s first Public Private Partnership for the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel replacement project in Plaquemines Parish.

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As the signature project for ARTBA’s P3 selection, the Belle Chasse Tunnel is the state’s first infrastructure P3 project, located in Plaquemines Parish. The P3 for this replacement project was awarded to Plenary Group and includes funds from the $45-million INFRA grant that DOTD received in June 2018, as well as $26.2 million in federal funds allocated to DOTD, $12 million in federal funds allocated to the Regional Planning Commission, up to $12 million in GARVEE Bond proposals, and tolls.

DOTD serves the transportation and water resource needs of Louisiana residents, businesses, and government partners. DOTD's mission is to deliver transportation and public works systems that enhance quality of life and facilitate economic growth.

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