BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the release of funding that will be dedicated for investments in bridge repairs and infrastructure. The Bridge Formula Program will allocate the funding over five years to rural and urban bridges that are in need of rehabilitation.

With this program, Louisiana will receive $1 billion over five years, with $202.6 million this year to improve 400 bridges throughout the state.

“Louisiana will be well served by this program, as our funding needs for infrastructure projects are immense,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “I applaud the Biden administration for seeing the transportation needs of our nation, and state, by launching this investment program that will greatly aid our communities.  Bridge closures or weight restrictions severely hinder our agriculture, manufacturing and service industries, as well a public transit, commuter travel and school bus routes. Limiting closures will provide a better overall quality of life to our residents, motorists and businesses.”

Louisiana has the third largest bridge infrastructure in the nation when the number of bridges and bridge size is accounted for. Out of 7,846 state owned bridges in Louisiana, 795 are in major need of rehabilitation or replacing. Out of 4,736 locally owned bridges, 793 are in need of rehabilitation or replacing.

According to The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, some of the bridges are 45 to 65 years old.

Congressman Troy Carter says this project is more than just about repairs.

“The Infrastructure Law is delivering real, results for our community, and I am proud to have been a key part of bringing these investments to life through my work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee,” said Congressman Carter. “Repairing our bridges will make our community safer, create jobs in our local economy, allow commerce to move more efficiently, and help us stay connected. The first part of my districtwide ‘Building a Better Louisiana Infrastructure Tour’ last month celebrated several projects across the Second Congressional District that will make daily life better for Louisianians. With the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, today’s funding announcement makes clear that the impacts of the Infrastructure Law are wide-reaching, and will fundamentally change Louisiana for the better, from the ground up.”

Some of the bridges projects that will advance this year due to this funding include:

·         LA 531 over I-20 Bridge Replacement in Webster Parish

·         I-10 over US & Missouri Pacific RR in Calcasieu and Jefferson Davis Parishes

·         Jimmie Davis Bridge Replacement in Caddo Parish

·         US90Z – Harvey Canal Tunnel Rehabilitation in Jefferson Parish

·         I-10 Sabine River Bridges Rehabilitation in Calcasieu Parish

·         I-20 Orange Street Overpass Repair in Ouachita Parish

·         US 61 Jefferson Highway Overpass Repair in East Baton Rouge Parish

·         LA 47 Intracoastal Waterway Gulf Outlet Bridge Rehabilitation in Orleans Parish

·         LA 485 Bridges near Allen Louisiana (Natchitoches Parish)

·         LA 835 Creek Bridges in Morehouse Parish

·         LA 121 over the Calcasieu River in Rapides Parish

·         LA 182 over Berwick Bay Bridge Rehabilitation in St. Mary Parish

·         US 51 over the Yellow Water River in Tangipahoa Parish

·         LA 1183 over Turner Canal in Avoyelles Parish

·         LA 1226 over Bayou Chevreuille in Natchitoches Parish

·         LA 961 over Sandy Creek in East Feliciana Parish

·         LA 404 Bayou and Canal Bridges in Iberville Parish

The Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges nationwide.