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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $63.1M in Funding for Five Projects in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA — U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announces that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $63.1 million to support five projects in Louisiana from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to help move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation and make the transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable, and more sustainable. This year’s total allocations nationwide include more than $2.2 billion due to the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides an additional $7.5 billion over five years for the program to help meet the demand to help projects get moving across the country.

“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” Buttigieg said. “Using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we are supporting more projects than ever before.”

In Louisiana, the following projects will benefit from RAISE awards:

Downtown Baton Rouge and Gonzales Train Station Project
The City of Gonzales will receive $20 million to acquire right-of-way, design, and construct the Baton Rouge Train Station and Gonzales Train Station along the planned Baton Rouge-New Orleans (BR-NO) Inter-City Rail Service. The project also includes the construction of ADA accessible platforms and stations and the supporting infrastructure. The two new transit stations this project will construct will increase mobility and transportation choices for all residents. The new rail connection is expected to reduce vehicle congestion on the I-10 corridor and help save travel time as well as help reduce emissions.
Natchitoches Safe Streets Revitalization Project
The City of Natchitoches will receive $17.2 million to rehabilitate the Texas Street Business Corridor from the Highway 1 South Bypass to Washington Street. This will include rehabilitation of roads, new drainage and pavement, new and widened sidewalks, walking paths, and dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes. This project will improve access to the business corridor for households in an area of persistent poverty. It will also improve safety for all and help reduce crashes in an area where 75 percent of the fatal crashes in a recent five-year period involved bicyclists, pedestrians, or both.
Ferry Road Improvement Project
The Plaquemines Parish Government will receive nearly $1.1 million to replace a gravel roadway to the Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry facility with a hard surface roadway, will add a new southbound left turn lane on Highway 23, and will add a northbound deceleration turn lane and acceleration lane. The project also includes a parking area to help accommodate commuters. This road will replace the existing ferry access road and facility that has been damaged over the years by various storms, high river currents, and erosion, resolving a major mobility issue for local residents. The new, improved ferry crossing will enable this historically disadvantaged community to access an estimated more than 700 new jobs. The improved connectivity will also provide safety benefits for the community in the event of another major disaster.
Shreveport Healthcare and Development Corridor Project
The City of Shreveport will receive nearly $22.2 million to construct a roadway and make intersection improvements on the approximately 1.6-mile health care corridor at the nexus of I-49 and I-20 in Shreveport. The project includes reconstructing roadways and transit bus pull-outs, implementing bus rapid transit with electric bus technology, and making improvements to traffic signals, emergency vehicle preemption signaling, streetlights, and ADA accessibility. It also provides improvements for alternative transportation methods including a pedestrian bridge and protected bicycle lanes. This project increases accessibility and availability of connections between zero-fare fixed transit routes that help people access health care facilities and other critical infrastructure. It addresses racial equity by serving an underserved area which is 93 percent Black and provides more affordable transportation connections between “zero-fare” fixed transit routes with paratransit services and the health care facilities.
Valentine Pontoon Bridge Replacement
The Parish of Lafourche will receive $2.6 million to replace the existing dilapidated Valentine Pontoon Bridge over Bayou Lafourche on State Highways 1 and 308 between Lockport and Larose with a modernized pontoon bridge. This new bridge will help to decrease travel time between the small rural communities it services, cutting the travel distance between Lockport and Larose in half. This will allow for increased access to the employment opportunities at the nearby Valentine Chemicals facility, as well as allow for more access to potential redevelopment of other nearby industrial sites. Additionally, by eliminating pillars in the Bayou Lafourche, the new bridge will help to maximize flow and reduce environmental harm.
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