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Officials look to get I-14 project moving forward

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Will Central Louisiana get a new interstate?

Officials and stakeholders have been working for years to make that happen. The goal is to bring Interstate 14 through Alexandria and Fort Polk. I-14 would connect forts and ports starting in Texas, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Parts of it have already been built in Texas.

Last year though, the House congressionally designated the project in their surface transportation bill, or the FAST Act, which expires every five years. However, with a new president and Congress, the Senate kept the then-current plan in place for another year, essentially punting the issue.

Local officials say they are currently working to get the congressional designation for the interstate in both the House and Senate versions of the FAST Act. Congressional designation must be done before funding can be allocated.

“It will increase the value of Fort Polk for us, and it will also be a tremendous economic development corridor for Central Louisiana. To have a north, south interstate then to have an east, west corridor as I-14 would be extraordinarily valuable and it would change this area for the better,” said Deborah Randolph, President of the Cenla Chamber of Commerce.

Randolph said they are hoping for a vote to happen sometime in September.

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