Panel looking for traffic fix in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - This Wednesday, a special bridge panel is holding a public hearing to discuss road and traffic problems in Louisiana.
State Rep. Karen St. Germain, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee and a member of the panel, says there is a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge needs throughout the state.
Germain tells News 2 she hopes this panel is the first step in finding solutions to these problems. She says the goal is to get funding for the Department of Transportation and Development to start making progress.
One of the issues Germain pointed out is the I-10 and U.S. 190 bridges over the mississippi river. She says they are 10 years behind on an upgrade to the I-10 bridge that would help reduce traffic.
"Some times it takes people more than an hour and a half to get from one side of the bridge to the other. These people have families they need to get home to," said Germain.
In addition to traffic, Germain says some roads need to be prepared.
$27 million is allocated to roads and bridges out of a $600 million state budget for the current fiscal year.
"My hope is for the legislature to come together to realize that a funding source is needed immediately," said Germain.