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It's Time to Build: DOTD Announces Participation in Infrastructure Week 2017

Thu May 18, 2017 - Southeast Edition
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The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has announced its participation in Infrastructure Week, a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and everyday citizens around one message: It's #TimeToBuild. From May 15-19, leaders and citizens around America will highlight the state of our nation's infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, ports, airports, water and sewer systems, the energy grid, and more – and encourage policymakers to invest in the projects, technologies, and policies necessary to make America competitive, prosperous, and safe.

“We're excited to join in the efforts of National Infrastructure Week, which is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the critical infrastructure needs of our state,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “My administration remains committed to ensuring that infrastructure improvements across Louisiana promote and enhance economic development to the benefit of all Louisianans.”

Since January 2016, the state has invested approximately $917 million, letting 448 projects covering over 1400 miles of Louisiana roadways.

“We at DOTD are looking forward to taking the opportunity to highlight National Infrastructure Week. Whether on rail, water, in the air, or on the road – it's about mobility and connectivity. In Louisiana, we know vital importance of investing in multimodal infrastructure and the unfortunate effects of not investing,” said DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson. “We're maximizing every dollar we can and are now working with our legislature to try and pass meaningful, acceptable investments to provide the type of system that our residents and businesses need and deserve.”

While Congress continues to address the nation's infrastructure needs, the state of Louisiana is examining ways to invest in its infrastructure.

In June 2016, Governor Edwards announced the formation of the Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment. The Task Force worked to find investment solutions to address transportation needs in Louisiana and issued a recommendation to the Governor for legislative action in 2017.

“The benefits of investing in infrastructure go beyond roads, bridges, ports - it means safer and shorter commute times, more efficient commerce, and an expanded economy for Louisiana," said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Page Cortez. "I authored SB 57 this year to strengthen the protections of fuel tax revenues in Louisiana, making sure these dollars will always only go to transportation. We gladly stand with our state and nation during Infrastructure Week to continue sharing the important message of investing in infrastructure.”

“It should never be a question of whether or not we should continue to invest in infrastructure, but instead a question of how to invest more - that is what infrastructure week should be about," said House Transportation Committee Chairman Kenny Havard. "Earlier this session my committee passed HB 598 to enhance accountability and transparency for how our transportation revenues are spent. With this, Louisiana is prepared and ready to deliver if we can come together to increase our investment."

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