Effort to send more money to roads OK'd in Louisiana

| 7/10/2006

Louisiana’s roads and bridges will get $40 million more a year under a bill signed into law by Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

The new law, previously HB728, establishes a Highway Improvement Program Fund for the state. The fund will receive a portion of truck and trailer registration and licensing fees and taxes that now are used to pay Louisiana’s general expenses.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development can only spend the money on state highways serving rural areas that are ineligible for federal assistance.

Rep. Eddie Lambert, R-Prairieville, said the funds are needed for maintenance and capital improvements, including expanding highway lanes.

The Highway Improvement Program Fund will receive 25 percent of state proceeds from the truck fees and taxes for fiscal year 2007. The percentage will increase by 25 percent each year until 2010.