BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana’s lawmakers are hoping to secure $150 million in federal funding to elevate a state highway leading to Port Fourchon, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Port Fourchon is Louisiana’s southernmost port located on the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of the nation’s critical oil and natural gas hubs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and state legislators have already pledged $150 million in money from the 2010 BP oil spill money to fund elevating the 8.3 mile stretch of LA 1 between Golden Meadow and Leeville.
Lawmakers are asking federal lawmakers in Washington D.C. to match the state’s contribution with another $150 million.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, who is the No. 2 House Republican, AP he met with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on Feb. 1 about the state’s request.
“It will be an aggressive competition, but I think we have an incredibly strong story,” Scalise told the AP.
Scalise emphasized the large amount of oil and gas infrastructure located in Port Fourchon to Chao, as well as the highway’s importance as a hurricane evacuation route, according to the AP.
If approved, the $150 million in federal funding would come from a $900 million infrastructure grant program the U.S. Department of Transportation is administering.
Scalise said the state must apply the federal grant dollars by Feb. 25. The Department of Transportation will announce the allocations of the grant before the end of the summer.