Gov. Edwards announces $270M bridge repair funding through Infrastructure Act

Gov. John Bel Edwards traveled to Baker to look at maintenance work on the Pettit Road bridge and announce repair funding for other bridges across Louisiana.
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:28 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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BAKER, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards traveled to Baker on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to look at maintenance work on the Pettit Road Bridge and announce repair funding for other bridges across Louisiana.

He was joined by inspectors with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and other officials.

The governor’s office said the bridge was deemed deficient and load posted in January 2022. Officials added bridge is one of more than 500 “off-system” bridges eligible to receive about $270 million in funding through the Infrastructure Law signed by President Biden earlier this year.

“Off-system” bridges are structures that are located on roadways owned by the city or parish and are not state highways. The state has more than 4,700 of these types of bridges, with 747 in need of rehabilitation or replacement, according to officials. DOTD said it closed 25 city or parish-owned bridges in 2021, and 31 have been closed so far in 2022.

“The ability to fully fund these bridge projects will benefit thousands of residents across the state of Louisiana, many of them in rural areas,” said Gov. Edwards. “This funding for bridges is just one way we will implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to grow our economy and improve quality-of-life. A special thanks to Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Troy Carter for their support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“Bridges connect communities and, with an aging infrastructure system, we are actively working to ensure continued connectivity for all types of road users in these parishes,” said DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Executing a consultant contract for each district will allow us to speed up the project development process and make the most of this historic investment in our infrastructure system while relying on local leadership for prioritization.”

Louisiana is set to receive about $1 billion over the course of five years through the Bridge Formula Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as part of the Infrastructure Law.

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