U.S. Secretary of Transportation announces $15 million Baton Rouge infrastructure investment

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 24: Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation Hon. Elaine L. Chao speaks onstage during the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit – Day 1 at Grand Hyatt New York on September 24, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced Tuesday that $15 million of the $900 million the Trump Administration is investing in American infrastructure will be awarded to Baton Rouge for the Plank-Nicholson Bus Rapid Transit project.

The project will construct a nine-mile Bus Rapid Transit line that will be Baton Rouge’s first BRT. It will connect north and south Baton Rouge to the downtown area and to the LSU campus.

The bus stops will be modernized with real-time arrival information and level boarding platforms. The project will make targeted improvements to streets, sidewalks and intersections. It also entails upgrading transit signal priority technology and purchasing new buses.

Such improvements are intended to provide expanded connectivity and increased safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The Trump Administration made the investment through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development Transportation Discretionary Grants Program.

“The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” Chao said.

Fiscal Year 2019 BUILD Transportation grants, like the one Baton Rouge received, are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and have been awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact on their local or regional communities.

The program selection criteria encompassed safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, environmental sustainability, innovation and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders.

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