BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Extra money from Louisiana's budget could be the key to paying for a major road project through the southern part of the state.
About $100 million will be left over at the end of the year and state Treasurer John Kennedy wants the majority of it to go to fund the I-49 South project.
If and once completed, the stretch from New Orleans to Lafayette would serve as an evacuation route and ease I-10 traffic through Baton Rouge.
The problem is it's going to cost between $2 billion and $5 billion to pay for it. Kennedy said the surplus would at least get the ball rolling.
"It's not enough, but it's a start," Kennedy said. "Now, we say I-49 is the single most important infrastructure project in the state. That's what we say. If it is, then we need to put our money where our mouth is."
An 18-mile section of the interstate was just completed near Shreveport at a cost of $171 million.