State News

More money for work on I-49

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Posted: Dec 18, 2013 6:42 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: I-49, james construction group, interstate contract, lafayette traffic

BATON ROUGE- The governor's office said Wednesday, it has found $113 million to fund I-49 extension projects near Shreveport and Louisiana.

The money will be split between the two ends of the on-going project, which is anticipated to eventually connect the state line north of Shreveport and New Orleans in one route. But, only $20 million will be spent connecting the longest portion that is unfinished: Lafayette to New Iberia to Morgan City to New Orleans. The largest portion of the money, made available through he sale of tax-exempt bonds supported by the Unclaimed Property Leverage Fund, will be spent near Shreveport. It amounts to $89.5 million.

"We recognize the importance of the I-49 corridor and look forward to the continued progress of this project," said Sherri H. LeBas, Secretary of DOTD, in a news release.

The sale of the tax-exempt bonds happened Tuesday.Last week, James Construction of Baton Rouge was hired for a $57.1 million project to widen U. S. 90 in Lafayette Parish to six lanes from north of Ambassador Caffery Parkway to Alberstons Parkway. The stretch of highway is part of the planned I-49 corridor near Lafayette.

The state said that bid was well below the estimated cost of $75 million to $85 million for the project. They expect the contract to be finalized and work started in late January.

Eventually, I-49 could create a single highway from New Orleans to Kansas City.
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