NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - With the Mississippi River at his back, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a $600 million infrastructure plan that involves bonds that will help to fund a brand new I-10 interchange in Kenner for the new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport that remains under construction.
"That is the Loyola interchange on I-10 to access the new billion dollar airport terminal that is being built there, and so we're going to finance that project as well through Garvees [bonds]," Edwards said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was in attendance, as was Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. They, along with GNO Inc., praised the inclusion of the project in the state's plan for three big-ticket projects. Landrieu said the interchange, which will help drivers get to and from the sprawling new terminal near Veterans Boulevard and Loyola Drive, is slated to cost between $90 million and $110 million.
"Of course, the airport project is $950 million that we're paying for in the city of New Orleans, so the state's been a great partner. I'm glad they stepped up to the plate," Landrieu.
"This will take place right at the Loyola and I-10 interchange, there's going to be a massive interchange or reconfiguration there that's going to allow traffic from all directions to have direct access south toward the airport, so it will be the main entrance to the airport which connects with Aberdeen Street," said Yenni.
The airport said 83 percent of all travelers in Louisiana travel through the New Orleans airport.
"Most people don't realize this, but the Louis Armstrong airport is the airport for not only the entire state of Louisiana, but for our entire region," said Landrieu.
Local government will have to chip in on the projects.
"About $12 million that we are going to put together through the Regional Planning Commission," said Mayor Landrieu.
"We're still working with DOTD on many additional funding that might need to come into play that might help with the inter-change as if comes off into the Aberdeen Street corridor," added Landrieu.
The plan still must be approved by some state panels and the federal government.