RUSTON — Tuesday, the City of Ruston hosted Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) at a groundbreaking for the federal RAISE-grant-funded construction of new pavement projects, drainage, sidewalks, and bike lanes that will connect Louisiana Tech to the city. The RAISE grant is worth $17.2 million and was awarded to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
While at the groundbreaking, Cassidy praised the City of Ruston and highlighted his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Ruston has done a good job,” Cassidy said. “I am pleased to have helped Ruston obtain this grant. I’m also pleased that the new infrastructure bill will have even greater opportunities for grants like this, so that this sort of groundbreaking can happen again and again and again in Louisiana, as we invest in our state to make it a better place for families to stay and for people to move to.”
In addition to rebuilding of the Monroe Street Corridor, this project supports rebuilding of streets, sidewalks, and underground utilities in much of Tech’s Enterprise Campus.
“This will greatly enhanced accessibility and prepare us for establishing a ‘Smart’ infrastructure testbed that will support our goals for a major research focus in ‘Smart Cities,’ something that will provide great opportunities for many on our campus,” Tech President Dr. Les Guice said. “This grant is also supporting the development of the biking, walking and autonomous vehicle pathway that will soon be under construction along the KCS railway.”
Cassidy joined Guice and faculty representatives, including Dr. Heath Tims, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in Tech’s College of Engineering and Science, for a tour of the University’s new Integrated Engineering and Science Building (IESB) and Tech Pointe and to discuss research, innovation, and partnerships that will positively impact the region and state.
“It’s great to show off our facility to visitors,” Tims said, “and these improvements are going to further enhance our area for the students who use our space.”
“Sen. Cassidy has been very supportive of Louisiana’s EPSCoR (the Louisiana Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) efforts that stimulate research competitiveness and opportunities for our campus and others across the state,” Guice said. “The senator has also been a very strong supporter of our research, education, and partnership efforts at the National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City. I greatly appreciate him and his staff spending a half day with us to learn more about our progress and plans for the future.”