Senator says area will get state funding
District 34 State Senator Francis Thompson announces plans for the state to invest approximately $37 million in capital improvement projects in Senate District 34 and the surrounding area.
The plans for these important projects were accounted for in the state’s construction budget, or House Bill 2. This year, HB 2 totaled about $3.4 billion and groups projects into different priorities. The projects included in HB 2 for Northeast Louisiana range from transportation and public works projects to the construction of new economic development and recreational facilities.
“This is a great day for Northeast Louisiana,” said Senator Thompson. “Many critical projects are moving forward to improve quality of life and increase economic opportunities for the citizens of Senate District 34.”
While funding for each project does not become available until such time as bonds are sold, or an advance cash line-of-credit is approved by the State Bond Commission, Senator Thompson feels confident that this will occur in the coming months and that area residents will soon see developments on many of these projects.
In addition to capital outlay projects, Senator Thompson co-authored an amendment to House Bill 578 in the Senate that dedicates $40 million from the Deepwater Horizon settlement to improvements to state-owned bridges and roads that are not eligible for federal highway funds. The Northeast Louisiana legislative delegation has secured a commitment from the governor that this funding will advance many bridge and road projects in the region, with a focus on farm to market roads.
The state has also committed the first portion of $50 million from a special allocation for bridge rehabilitation and replacement for special projects in the Northeast Louisiana region. Repairs or replacements to the Joes Bayou Bridge in East Carroll Parish and Madison Parish and the Muddy Bayou, Little Creek, and Cypress Creek Bridges in Richland Parish will be funded through this program at a cost of approximately $8 million. Further, approximately $80 million has been dedicated for two projects to restore the I-20 Mississippi River Bridge.
“These bridges are crucial in moving products and commodities from the farm to the market, and the Northeast Delegation has worked in a unified fashion to support these priorities,” said Senator Thompson. “I am dedicated to continuing to work with my colleagues at home and around the state to continue bringing important projects such as these to our area.”