Louisiana road and bridge work get funding boost

| 7/14/2006

A new law in Louisiana is intended to aid funding efforts for roads and bridges in the state.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco has signed a bill – HB299 – into law creating a special state fund to make up for funding shortfalls for major transportation projects in the state. Projects that could be in line for assistance are the proposed loops around Baton Rouge and Lafayette , as well as the completion of Interstate 49, The Advocate newspaper reported.

The Transportation Mobility Fund will get money from deposited grants, gifts and donations received by the state and any other revenues available, whether local, state or federal.

This was the second effort in as many years by Rep. William Daniel IV, R-Baton Rouge, to put more money into transportation for the state. A similar effort a year ago called for tripling the fee Louisiana-based truck drivers pay each year to license their trucks.

Daniel later withdrew the bill from consideration citing opposition from the trucking industry. It called for boosting the registration fee for a typical, 80,000-pound, commercial vehicle to $1,512 per year to register in the state – an increase of more than $1,000.

The new rule took effect June 29.