Vote on 415 connector expected this weekend
BATON ROUGE - A critical vote to fund the Highway 415 connector in West Baton Rouge Parish is expected to happen Saturday in the Louisiana State Senate. The bill would redirect portions of the BP oil spill settlement towards road projects throughout the state.
Lawmakers want to tap a portion of the settlement that is currently going towards a number of other funds, including the state's "rainy day fund." The bill sailed through the House of Representatives two weeks ago with the understanding that several other projects from around the state would be added to ensure wide support in the legislature.
Those other projects were added in a senate committee last week.
The Highway 415 connector would build a second bridge across the Intracoastal Canal in West Baton Rouge Parish. The aging LA 1 bridge is currently the only route across the canal, causing massive congestion in the Brusly/Port Allen area and even into Baton Rouge via the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge.
Sen. Rick Ward (R-Port Allen) is carrying the bill in the Senate. He said Friday the 415 connector could be complete in four years if lawmakers and the governor approve.
"Of course there might be some preparation time to get it going but we are looking at 3 or 4 years and vehicles could be driving over it," he said.