Governor Edwards, State, and Local Leaders Inaugurate Phase II of the LA-1 Improvement Project

Today, Governor John Bel Edwards, DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., the LA 1 Coalition and area leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the construction of phase II of the elevated corridor LA 1.

Phase II will elevate 8.3 miles of freeway from Golden Meadow to Leeville. When completed, 19.3 miles of highway will be elevated between Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon. Late last year, the $463 million Phase II contract was awarded to James Construction Group.

“This project is part of a much larger vision for Louisiana, which is why we have continued to invest in infrastructure and development,” Governor Edwards said. “This corridor will relieve regional transportation needs, creating a resilient structure while stimulating economic growth. This project was a priority of this administration due to the needs of the state and nation’s economy. I’m proud of Sec. Wilson and all the people who worked to secure the largest federal INFRA grant in the nation in 2020.”

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Louisiana $135 million from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant. This grant is dedicated to the completion of Phase II. Additionally, an additional $150 million in construction funding comes from BP’s economic damages incurred in ACT 443 of the state’s 2019 regular legislative session. This project also has a historic level of community buy-in, including a $25 million matching commitment from Port Fourchon, several million dollars collectively pledged by 20 private industry partners, and pledges of $1 $.2 million from the Lafourche Parish Government and the LA 1 Coalition.

“Elevating LA 1 has long been a top priority for me, and today’s monumental inauguration is a significant step forward for the security of our region and the energy security of the country,” the member said. of Congressman Steve Scalise. “I’m proud to have worked with local and state leaders to get to this moment after working with Transportation Secretary Chao to secure the nation’s largest INFRA grant in 2020. Rising LA 1 ensures that our state will continue to play a vital role in America’s energy dominance for decades to come.

“Louisiana’s Gulf Coast is the energy coast of the United States,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy. “Port Fourchon supports the off-shore industry which supplies the rest of the country. This highway is essential to this effort. It’s been a long time coming, but we’re glad it’s here.

“LA 1 is not only a victory for Louisiana, but also for the nation,” Sec said. Wilson. “Infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates economic development. More than 1,300 trucks and heavy vehicles travel the LA 1 southern corridor daily to support port activity and energy production. The LA 1 elevation solves the challenges presented when port activity comes to a halt due to flooding on the existing at-grade highway. We’re advancing transportation to make Louisiana a better place to live, work and visit. This project is an example of how to move great projects forward. I applaud the DOTD staff who worked tirelessly to secure the INFRA grant, as well as the elected officials and private industry who made this project possible.

In addition to being a hurricane escape route, LA 1 plays a vital role in the economy. LA 1 serves 17% of the United States’ oil and gas production and is the only route to Port Fourchon, which handles nearly 90% of deepwater oil and gas extraction from the Gulf of Mexico.

“I am so proud that the federal government is once again showing up to improve the underlying infrastructure here at home in Louisiana,” said Congressman Troy Carter. “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant, which is funding this much-needed freeway elevation, will help improve safety and protect our transportation routes for years to come.”

“Officially known as the ‘Billy Tauzin Energy Corridor,’ LA 1 is the trunk and root of Louisiana’s significant history, culture, and economy – Port Fourchon, Grand Isle, Power Generation , shipbuilding, seafood, Sportsman’s Paradise, Cajun Country, tourism, jobs and more,” said Congressman Garret Graves. “As we saw in Hurricane Ida, every day this artery is unusable. , the American economy takes a hit, our economy takes a hit, our communities cannot evacuate, and our national energy system is crippled. The reality is that LA 1 resilience means stronger, safer communities, and a more reliable energy economy. Without the decades of hard work and perseverance of Billy Tauzin, the LA 1 Coalition, the Louisiana Legislature, and community and business leaders in coastal parishes, this highway would break the waves, but today we are innovating. Nearly seven years ago, we drafted the federal law that prioritized federal funds for nationally significant energy corridors like LA 1. This long-term strategy directly resulted in our ability to partner with representative Scalise to bring home the largest transportation grant awarded in 2020 for this project. It is a perfect example of a real, local infrastructure solution that meets our national priorities. South Louisiana is worth that investment and worth protecting.

For decades, raising LA 1 has been a priority for the state, but lack of funding has impeded any progress. Thanks to the efforts of state, local, federal and industry partners, as well as the LA 1 Coalition, the appropriate funding is in place to make this final phase a reality.

Additional funds have been pledged through the state’s capital expenditure program, the Greater Lafourche Harbor Commission, the Lafourche Parish Government, local landowners and the LA 1 Coalition.

The LA 1 improvement project is expected to be completed by the end of 2027, weather permitting.

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