A plan to set aside
money to complete Louisiana’s portion of Interstate 49 has been signed into law
by Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
The new law allows as
much as $15 million dollars annually from unclaimed property funds in the state
to be used to help pay off loans to complete unfinished stretches of the
interstate from New Orleans to the Arkansas border.
funds are turned over to the state by businesses when the rightful private
owners cannot be found.
Supporters of the new
law, previously HB654, said the money borrowed through bonds would be used to
lessen the need for federal dollars, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans
reported. The total I-49 funding – which could be as much as $750 million – would be split evenly to the north and south portions.
Those stretches run
north from I-20 in Shreveport to the Arkansas line and south from I-10 in
Lafayette to the West Bank Expressway in New Orleans.
The revenue would be
used for I-49 when the federal government puts up money for construction. Approval
of the state Bond Commission would then be needed before the bonds could be