Panel rejects $800 million Baton Rouge loop plan
BATON ROUGE- A state panel has rejected an engineering firm's bid to build an $800 million, high-speed toll road around Baton Rouge.
The decision came Tuesday after a consultant hired by the state said the project could cost taxpayers up to $400 million, which backers disputed.
Sherri LeBas, secretary of the state Department of Transportation and Development, said the potential state price tag was "a very big factor" in the vote by the Louisiana Transportation Authority.
The state has a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge needs, and general state budget problems that are expected to spark a special session when a new governor takes office in January.
The proposal would link all mayor highways in a new path around often-congested Baton Rouge.