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Ahead of House vote Thursday, lawmakers confident a new bridge will get proper funding

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BATON ROUGE - Two days after the House Appropriations Committee voted to break up $500 million into general funds, instead of specifically allocating the money to a new Mississippi River Bridge, lawmakers remain confident that they will be able to move forward with plans for a new bridge.

“500 million dollars total that has been left in two different funds, one’s 400 million and one’s 100 million dollars. It just hasn’t been allocated to anything at this point which leaves us in a really good place to negotiate for that money to go to the bridge. I think that’s very important for everyone to understand," State Senator Rick Ward said.

Even if the state's budget does not allow for a $500 million down payment on a new Mississippi River bridge, Ward says it won't be the end of the road for their plans of a new bridge.

"Even if we come up just a little bit short of that, which I don’t anticipate that we do, the goal will continue to be 500 million dollars, but if we fall short of that, that will not stop us from moving forward.”

The topic is set to be brought up once again in a House meeting on Thursday, when the state budget hits the floor for a vote. Ward says he's optimistic with his expectations. 

"We still have the same opportunity today that we had three days ago and I'm very optimistic when June 6th comes that we're going to get the money we need to make this happen." 

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