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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $25M in Funding for Louisiana DOTD Project for Ferry Design and Construction

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA — The U.S. Department of Transportation announces that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $273.9 million from the new Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (Rural) to help communities around the United States complete transportation projects that will increase connectivity, improve safety and reliability, support regional economic growth, and improve the quality of life for people living in rural areas. This year's selected project in the Construction News area is the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's (DOTD) Ferry Design and Construction project. USDOT awarded the project $25 million in funding, and the project is estimated to cost $52 million.

“Infrastructure investments haven’t always reached rural America, leaving far too many roads, bridges, and other parts of the transportation system across our country in disrepair,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today’s announcement is one of many ways this administration is delivering the investments that rural communities have gone without for far too long, modernizing transportation, creating economic opportunity, and making life better for millions of people.”

The DOTD project will design and construct two ferry boats. One ferry boat will provide continued access across the Mississippi River between Highway 23 and Highway 39 at Pointe a la Hache, and between Belle Chasse and Scarsdale in Plaquemines Parish. The other ferry boat will provide continued access across the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish.

The new ferries will improve upon existing ferry services, benefiting the communities with reduced down time, lower operations and maintenance costs, reduced environmental impacts, improved safety, and time savings. Additionally, the project will improve economic opportunity in these communities by providing consistent and reliable ferry service.

The Rural program will invest a total of approximately $2 billion through 2026 for projects that improve highways, bridges, and tunnels, address highway safety, increase access to agricultural, commercial, energy, or freight facilities that support the economy, and bring flexible transit services to rural and Tribal areas. The department received applications requesting approximately $10 billion in funding, far exceeding the nearly $300 million in 2022 funding available.

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