Thibaut and Ward announce approval of $50 Million for legislative projects on Westside

Written by Staff Report on . Posted in Local

BATON ROUGE - State Rep. Major Thibaut, D-Oscar, and State Sen. Rick Ward, D-Port Allen, have announced that more than $50 million worth of capital improvement projects across West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes were approved by state lawmakers at the close of the 2014 Legislative Session.

“It has been our priority to address the pressing capital improvement needs that exist across Senate District 17 and House District 18. We are very pleased with the outcome of this year’s session; with the continued support and funding of some projects and the investment of new dollars in other projects,” said State Rep. Thibaut.

“To have so many of our projects approved and prioritized for state funding is good news. These investments offer much promise for the west side to continue to grow its economic opportunities, benefitting our businesses and families,” said State Sen. Ward.

Thibaut said $3.5 million in new funding has been earmarked for the West Baton Rouge/East Baton Rouge Regional Freeway System Expansion, while another $1.65 million in new funding has been approved for the planning and design of the West Side Expressway.

The Greater Baton Rouge Port Commission in Port Allen has been authorized to receive $23.2 million for dock and infrastructure improvements. Currently, $3.2 million are Priority 1 funds, and $20 million are newly designated dollars for the project, he said.

Another $6.57 million has been approved for the construction of the La. Hwy 415 Bridge at the Intracoastal Canal in West Baton Rouge Parish, and $150,000 has been approved for the extension of Sid Richardson Road, which is also in West Baton Rouge Parish.

The Tunica Hills Preservation Area in West Feliciana Parish, which is part of the state park system, will benefit from $10.5 million worth of improvements. Approximately $4.5 million has been designated as Priority 1 funds, while the remaining $6 million has been categorized as Priority 5 funding.

Thibaut said funding for projects in Pointe Coupee Parish include $2.69 million for the restoration of the False River Ecosystem, $790,000 for improvements at the Pointe Coupee Port Commission, and $200,000 to purchase new emergency communications equipment for the Pointe Coupee Parish 911 System.

Also in Pointe Coupee Parish, the City of New Roads will receive $50,000 for the improvement of Morrison Parkway, Livonia will receive $50,000 for sewer improvements, and Fordoche will receive $59,100 to pay for a new deep water well and elevated water tank.           

            In Iberville Parish, the Town of Maringouin will receive $420,000 for construction improvements at the Town Hall, and another $200,000 for the upgrade and replacement of water and gas meters.

            Ward noted that the Priority 1 funds are reauthorizations of previous general obligation bond funds. All funds approved by the State Legislature must receive a cash line of credit from the State Bond Commission in order to obtain final approval for the projects.

            Thibaut and Ward said they will continue to work with state and local leaders to expedite state funding for these approved projects, as well as others that exist in the districts.

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