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Scalise, Governor Edwards Announce $135 Million to Elevate LA Highway 1

June 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, and Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award $135 million in Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant funding to the LA Highway 1 Improvement Project.

“After months of hard work, the Trump Administration’s award of $135 million in federal INFRA funding to elevate LA Highway 1 is a major victory for our region’s safety and America’s energy security,” said Whip Scalise. “Elevating LA 1 has long been a top priority of mine, and I have worked closely for years with DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, Governor Edwards, and local leaders to secure this vital funding. 
 
“As recently as June 8th, LA 1 was closed after becoming impassable due to flooding from Tropical Storm Cristobal. Along with being a hurricane evacuation route, LA 1 provides sole access to Port Fourchon and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP). Elevating LA 1 is not only essential for the protection of Louisiana families, but absolutely vital for achieving American energy dominance and safeguarding access to our nation’s oil and natural gas supply. Securing the funding to complete LA 1 is not only great news for Southeast Louisiana, but for our Nation – I applaud President Trump and Secretary Chao for recognizing this importance and for providing the critical support needed for the LA 1 project.”

 
“Once again, a mega-project that has been on the books for decades is moving forward thanks to the innovative funding measures utilized by this administration,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “This is a prime example of what the state is able to accomplish when we work together and have adequate resources. Major infrastructure projects like this one, the Loyola Avenue interchange in Kenner, the I-220/Barksdale Air Force Base Interchange in Bossier City, and many others are advancing as a result of steadfast dedication of so many partners and stakeholders, including the Congressional delegation. Together, we are advancing transportation to make Louisiana a better place to live, work and visit.  We will continue to see these type of accomplishments as long as we strategically position Louisiana to take advantage of available funding opportunities.”
 
“This grant is a huge win for Louisiana and the nation,” said Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. “Elevating this roadway has always been a priority but was not able to come to fruition due to a lack of funding. This would not have been possible without the 2019 legislation championed by Rep. Tanner Magee, Sen. Rick Ward, and Sen. Page Cortez and signed by the Governor.  I am so very proud of the team that worked on this application.  Advancing this infrastructure will strengthen Louisiana’s economy, ensuring this region continues to be a leader in servicing the nation’s oil and natural gas production.” 
 
“This is an extraordinary day for our community, our state and the LA 1 Coalition. Now we are eager to begin construction on this critical energy infrastructure that our organization has vigorously championed for many years,” said LA 1 Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet. “The completed elevated LA 1 will host millions of dollars of commercial activity moving in and out of Port Fourchon, Grand Isle, and our vibrant Gulf of Mexico. Whether for recreation, fishing, coastal restoration, or production of our abundant natural resources, LA 1 travelers will have a far safer and dependable route to Louisiana’s valuable working coast."

“The awarding of INFRA funds to the LA 1 project places the final piece of the puzzle that has been put together by the State, Parish, Port Commission, and Industry Stakeholders,"
said Port Fourchon Executive Director Chett Chiasson. "This is an excellent example of what hard work and perseverance by all levels of government can do and we are proud to have been a part of it.  The future of our community and our economy is bright with the reliable, safe access this project will provide.”


Background:

  • The LA 1 Improvement project includes four phases to elevate and improve highway infrastructure from U.S. Highway 90 at Mathews, La. to Port Fourchon/Grand Isle. The federal funding will be used to build 8.3 miles of elevated highway from Golden Meadow to Leeville, LA. 
  • In 2017, Scalise led the Louisiana Congressional Delegation in making a push for the LA Highway 1 project when the Greater Lafourche Port Commission originally applied for the INFRA grant. 
  • In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program, making available more than $900 million for American infrastructure investments. 
     
  • On January 24, 2020, Scalise hosted a meeting with Governor John Bel Edwards regarding the state’s forthcoming application seeking federal INFRA funding for elevating LA Highway 1. They were joined by Louisiana State Senate President Page Cortez, Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, LA 1 Coalition Director Henri Boulet, Port Fourchon Executive Director Chett Chiasson, and federal Department of Transportation officials.
     
  • On January 29, 2020, Scalise met with Secretary Chao to discuss Louisiana’s forthcoming DOT INFRA grant application for elevating LA Highway 1. 
     
  • On February 11, 2020, Scalise spoke with Secretary Chao to reiterate his support for the INFRA grant application for LA Highway 1 and the priority of this project for Southeast Louisiana. 
     
  • On February 21, 2020, Scalise led the Louisiana Congressional Delegation to write a letter to Secretary Chao expressing their strong support for the INFRA grant application for LA Highway 1.
     
  • On May 18, 2020, Scalise spoke with Secretary Chao to reiterate support for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant application for LA Highway 1.

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