Monday, April 22, 2024

DOTD receives $210 million in redistributed funds from FHWA

by BIZ Magazine

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) received word on Thursday that its request for $210 million in additional federal highway funding was approved due to successfully obligating the full amount of its federal funding during the 2022-2023 federal fiscal year. Last year DOTD received $97.87 million, which was a record amount given by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This year’s funding shatters that record, and the $210 million will allow DOTD to address projects that are on the books, but otherwise would not be able to move forward when originally scheduled because of the lack of funding and high inflation.

Each year the FHWA allocates funds that were not used by other states. DOTD has consistently used 100 percent of its obligated funding and is eligible to receive additional funding, which will be used on projects that meet FHWA requirements and are close to starting.

“This administration thanks DOTD for its hard work in vital improvements to infrastructure across the state, and we’re especially grateful for DOTD’s request for over $200 million in redistributed federal highway funds,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “These funds more than double last year’s record amount, and they will be used wisely throughout Louisiana.”

“We’d like to thank FHWA for providing these important funds to the state of Louisiana,” said DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda. “This large amount of money will advance quite a few highway, bridge, and safety projects in every part of our state. Our infrastructure needs continue, and we will continue taking advantage of every possible funding opportunity in order to give citizens and guests of Louisiana the safe and reliable transportation system they deserve.”

With a fuel tax over 30 years old and rising inflation, Louisiana continues to have a backlog of projects. Each year the state uses every federal dollar allocated to it on projects throughout Louisiana and takes advantage of FHWA’s redistributed funds. However, even with this additional funding, there are still projects that have to be postponed due to cost issues. When the state receives additional federal funding, DOTD focuses on projects that are already committed to in the Highway Priority Program. Taking advantage of the additional federal dollars allows the department to address many of these much-needed projects across all regions of the state.

This additional funding will allow the department to finance various already-planned construction projects over the next year and advance other projects sooner than anticipated. It will also help to fill shortfalls created by inflation-induced bid costs that have exceeded DOTD’s legislatively approved estimates by over 40 percent in the last year alone and by over 100 percent in the last three years.

The redistributed funding will be allocated as follows, primarily to address bids that came in over budget:

$12.56 million – right-of-way acquisition for LA 30 (Nicholson Dr.) between Brightside and Gourrier in East Baton Rouge Parish
$11.74 million – LA 30 roundabouts at Tanger Mall and I-10 in Ascension Parish
$53.41 million – Leo Kerner movable bridge replacement phase 1 in Jefferson Parish
$11.75 million – Harvey Canal Tunnel rehabilitation in Jefferson Parish
$48.82 million – various other projects bid throughout the year

These projects will bid sooner than expected due to the additional funding:
$71.72 million:
LA 1024 Creek bridges near Friendship in Livingston Parish
LA 1026 roundabout at Eden Church Rd. in Livingston Parish
U.S. 61 streetscape improvements in St. John the Baptist Parish
LA 15 between Slocum and Deer Park in Concordia Parish
LA 376 bayou bridges in Evangeline Parish
Van Buren Street over Corporation Canal in East Baton Rouge Parish
Terrace Ave. pavement rehabilitation in St. Tammany Parish
U.S. 90 between LA 311 and McMahon Canal in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes
Calcasieu Parish overlays phase 1A
Town of Oberlin sidewalks in Allen Parish
Westdale Plantation Rd./Bayou Pierre bridge replacement in Red River Parish
LA 675 and LA 87 improvements in New Iberia in Iberia Parish
I-12 at Sherwood Forest pedestrian/bike safety in East Baton Rouge Parish
U.S. 165 southbound lane between LA 524 and LA 123 in Grant Parish
Rumble strips/signs/pavement markings in Avoyelles, Natchitoches, and Rapides parishes
LA 521 bridges near Dykesville in Claiborne Parish
LA 507, LA 514, and local road bridge replacements in Bienville and Red River parishes
LA 3124 between Bogalusa city limits and LA 10 in Washington Parish
I-10 at LA 97 in Jennings interchange lighting in Jefferson Davis Parish
LA 6 roundabout at LA 504 in Natchitoches Parish
LA 27 between LA 108 and I-10 in Calcasieu Parish

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