BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A task force created to review road permits for drivers with overweight loads met for the first time Thursday morning at the DOTD headquarters.
The meeting was led by State Representative Terry Landry, and included representatives from the timber, oil, gas, packaging, and farming industries.
The task force was formed following proposals in the last legislative session to increase overweight permits in an effort to help fund road repairs.
The state currently faces a massive backlog for road repairs.
“We all know that inflation and economies change and the cost of doing business and repairs are increasing,” Landry said. “And for the permits to remain stagnant at a 21st century, or a 20th century price, just doesn’t get the job done.”
Most industry leaders said they could agree to permit increases, but they want some changes to the system as a whole. They have an issue with the permit rules and costs being different for each parish.
“The state issues permits for state roads, not for parish roads,” Landry said. “Some parishes have a permit system, some don’t. And I think what the industry is looking for is one place, one stop shopping and a simpler way of going from parish to parish.”
Business representatives said they would like to see a unified permit system, and a way to ensure that dollars made from the permits go straight to road repairs, and not a general fund.
The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for November 8, at 1 P.M. Each business representative was asked to bring written ideas to the next meeting.