Gov. Edwards announces $270 million in bridge projects funded through infrastructure law

Staff Report

In touring a locally owned bridge in East Baton Rouge Parish with inspectors from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development., Gov. John Bel Edwards announced about $270 million in funding has been allocated for off-system bridge repair and replacement projects.

According to a news release, the bridge the governor visited was one of more than 500 off-system bridges eligible for funding through the bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Joe Biden earlier this year. Such bridges are locally owned by cities or parishes and are not state highways.

The governor's release reported Louisiana is set to receive some $1 billion over the course of five years through the Bridge Formula Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

The state has more than 4,700 locally owned bridges, with 747 in need of replacement or rehabilitation. DOTD closed 25 locally owned bridges last year. A total of 31 have been closed this year to date.

DOTD has contracted consultants to speed up the delivery of the funding for each of the nine DOTD districts.

“The ability to fully fund these bridge projects will benefit thousands of residents across the state of Louisiana, many of them in rural areas,” Edwards said. “This funding for bridges is just one way we will implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to grow our economy and improve quality-of-life. A special thanks to Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Troy Carter for their support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

“Bridges connect communities and, with an aging infrastructure system, we are actively working to ensure continued connectivity for all types of road users in these parishes,” said DOTD Secretary Dr. Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Executing a consultant contract for each district will allow us to speed up the project development process and make the most of this historic investment in our infrastructure system while relying on local leadership for prioritization.”