State officials working on I-49 funding - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

State officials working on I-49 funding

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State officials say they have found a way to significantly cut the cost for completing an interstate highway between New Orleans and Lafayette, although financial and political obstacles remain.

A deputy secretary of the state transportation department said original plans to develop the interstate included elevating long stretches of U.S. Highway 90. Now, engineers and others have concluded the state could use more of the existing highway and still boost it to interstate standards.

That would mean a reduction in cost from about $6.5 billion to around $3 billion.

The state already has a $12 billion list of road and bridge needs, which does not include I-49 South. State Sen. Robert Adley of Benton says funding the project will require discussions and hard decisions.

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