La. projects in $12.3 billion water projects bill
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has signed a $12.3 billion water projects bill that will finance improvements across the nation and includes several provisions that will directly benefit Louisiana.
The legislation won overwhelming support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in a fiercely divided Congress.
The new law will finance 34 new water projects aimed at improving infrastructure including new flood control projects in Iowa, North Dakota and California, harbor expansions in Boston and Georgia, and environmental restoration in Louisiana.
"We made sure that the final result will provide hurricane and flood protection for Louisianians, necessary reforms to the Corps and improvements to our nation's waterways. I'm extremely proud of this final result." Sen. David Vitter said.
Vitter said projects authorized in Louisiana include The Morganza to the Gulf Hurricane Protection Project, expansion of the Port of Iberia, coastal and ecosystem restoration efforts, and reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed project delivery.
Sen. Mary Landrieu's office said she was able to get several items into the legislation including efforts to restore the barrier islands off the Louisiana coast, the deepening of the Mississippi River to 50 feet, and upgrades to the 100-year Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System surrounding New Orleans.
"We now have the green light to maintain our ports, dredge our waterways, and build the critical water infrastructure we need to create jobs and protect the people and communities that power our nation's economy," Sen. Landrieu said.
Landrieu said the projects will ensure the state remains an economic contender in the 21st century.