State committee approves 30-year, multibillion-dollar statewide transportation plan

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A transportation committee at the Louisiana State Capitol approved a long-term, sweeping plan Thursday to improve state roads and bridges.

The plan aims to make improvements over the next 30 years. It is built around state and federal money estimated to raise at most $35 billion, but the plan identifies total infrastructure needs of $55 billion. So the state will fall short.

"When we spend money, we want to make sure in the future that we're addressing the main measures that are really giving us the poor infrastructure and the poor rankings," said Robert Travis Scott, president of Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana. Scott is also a member of the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Policy Committee.

Leaders said the plan now includes a feasibility study of building a new Mississippi River bridge in one of five locations around the Capital City.

"I'm here to urge somehow that we find a way to fund and build a new Mississippi River bridge," Wilfred Barry, president of SJB Group, LLC told the committee Thursday. "I will be here every year until it happens."

Leaders said the plan also means good news for the state's energy corridor, improving the stretch of LA 1 through the state's coastal parishes.

The new measure is an update to a transportation plan approved in 2003.

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