Governor Edwards and local officials inaugurate the LA 3241 project in the Northshore region
Today Governor John Bel Edwards and DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction of the LA 3241 corridor in the parish of St Tammany. State and local officials attended the ceremony celebrating the construction of a new four-lane highway on the Northshore. This project is part of the Model Transport Infrastructure for Economic Development (TIMED) program, which began in 1989.
LA 3241 is a three-phase project, which will create a four-lane highway from the intersection of LA 40, LA 41 in Bush to I-12 in the parish of St. Tammany. The first phase, built by Brown Industrial Construction, LLC, will cost nearly $ 46 million. The first phase will take place between LA 40 / LA 41 and LA 435. The second phase, built by James Construction, will cost $ 62.5 million. Phase two will be built between LA 36 and LA 435. The third phase between LA 36 and I-12 is expected to be tendered in 2023.
Project LA 3241 was originally part of the Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program, which included 16 projects statewide and began in 1989 when voters approved a 4-cent tax increase. on gasoline to finance Law 16 of the 1989 legislature. The TIMED program was then accelerated by the sale of bonds. Two of the main projects in the TIMED program include the John James Audubon Bridge in the parishes of Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana and the wider and safer Huey P. Long Bridge near New Orleans. Project LA 3241 is the 15th TIMED project to go forward.
“I am proud to see this project come to fruition,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “The creation of a whole new highway is an example of what can be accomplished when we have the right sources of funding in place and when our leaders at all levels of government work together. This corridor will help meet regional transport needs and stimulate economic growth in this region.
“LA 3241 has been under discussion for almost 40 years, but due to lack of funding it has taken decades to move forward,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. This new corridor will improve access between I-12 and the northeast Louisiana “toe”, as well as an additional hurricane escape route from the New Orleans and Northshore areas. Infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates economic development.
In addition to DOTD program funding, using the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, DOTD was able to access $ 50 million of HB 578 / Act 443 (2019) funds dedicated to the project sooner rather than later. . , thus reducing the effects of inflation. Since DOTD uses a low-interest TIFIA loan, the state can save around $ 50 million in typical inflation costs due to funding delays. The first loan for the new LA 3241 corridor was closed in September 2021. The interest rate for the first phase is 0.5%. The loan for the second segment from LA 36 to LA 435 will be closed in the coming weeks.
DOTD plans to use approximately $ 240 million in TIFIA credit assistance on the following projects: I-12 to Bush, I-49S, Cameron Ferry, State-Wide Bridge Program, and LA 415.
“After decades of waiting, it is encouraging to see progress on a physical connection from Washington Parish to St Tammany Parish,” said Senator Beth Mizell. “New economic and educational opportunities will be more accessible to all citizens. This step makes a long-awaited dream of the past a reality for the prosperity of our entire region.
“After 32 years, we are finally realizing the TIMED LA3241 constitutional project that bridges the gap between Washington Parish and Interstate 12,” said Representative Malinda White. “Some said it would never happen and some died while waiting for it to happen. 32 years later, the TIMED Highway 3241 project is becoming a reality.
“I am delighted to see this long-awaited project become a reality for all citizens of St. Tammany Parish, especially those in the Northeast Corridor,” said St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper. “When completed, LA 3241 will provide a major connection and economic growth for I-12 to the northeast parish of St. Tammany and all neighbors, businesses and communities in between. I look forward to seeing the progress and completion of LA 3241 and its many benefits to St. Tammany Parish. ”
Phases one and two are expected to be completed in late 2023 or early 2024, weather permitting.
Construction projects are prioritized based on road / bridge condition, urgency of improvements, type / volume of traffic, accident records, unforeseeable emergencies that have caused damage. damage and several other factors.
For more information on these projects, please visit www.dotd.la.gov.