LA has list of infrastructure project it hopes Trump's plan will fund

Louisiana hoping to benefit from Trump's infrastructure plan
Updated: Mar. 2, 2017 at 6:42 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As President Donald Trump seeks massive infrastructure investments, Louisiana hopes to benefit to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

"We've got a great backlog on some work, and it would be very difficult for us to find enough money to finish these projects, so this is a great start," said Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, who is a member of the Governor's Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment.

Trump wants Congress to approve legislation that would result in a trillion dollars in investment through public and private capital. In December, after Trump had won the presidency, Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a letter to the National Governor's Association listing some of the state's top priorities. They include $80 million for an access ramp to the new terminal at Louis Armstrong Airport.

"The brand new airport that we're having is very important for economic development in this area for moving traffic," Alario said.

Another project would widen I-10 in New Orleans, and there are projects for other parts of the city.

"One of those would be down in Grand Isle, the LA-1 Bridge in Leeville, you know, it has some flooding issues because it's such a low elevation there on the roadways, and in that area and we've already built a portion of it, so this would help us to complete it," said Bambi Hall, spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Money is also sought for the Peter's Road Bridge construction on the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

"Which would give us connectability to Plaquemines Parish, to the Belle Chasse Air Force Base which is very important and also to future marketability of land in that area," Hall said.

The Causeway Commission in Metairie seeks over $100 million for safety improvements to the span over Lake Pontchartrain.

"The $100 million would take care of the rail improvements on the southbound bridge and the segmented shoulder safety base, $100 million to $110 million dollars in that range. If that were to be the case then the tolls wouldn't have to be increased, at all," said Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou.

Dufrechou is thrilled the bridge project is on the list of the Trump team's top 50 priorities. But because the president's proposals have not been funded, the Causeway Commission is not waiting to act.

"We are geared up to try to secure the bond funding later this year and hopefully start construction in the first quarter of 2018," said Dufrechou.

Among the Port of New Orleans' top priorities is the deepening of the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet and the expansion of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal which would help the port support the growing global demand for chemical products.

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