Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

How Not to Do It, CA: Louisiana Raids Maintenance Fund for Road Expansions

This year, Louisiana will raid $21.6 million from its road maintenance fund to pay for road projects, including some expansions, that have been on the books since 1989. The state will have to keep stealing from the fund for the next 27 years to pay for them.

Two projects, including the construction of a new four-lane highway connecting I-12 to Bush, Louisiana, continue to cost the state dearly, 26 years after they were approved. Image: ##http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/public_info/projects/home.aspx?key=88##Louisiana DOTD##
Two projects, including the construction of a new four-lane highway connecting I-12 to Bush, Louisiana, continue to cost the state dearly, 26 years after they were approved. Image: Louisiana DOTD
false

Voters approved a package of 16 road and bridge projects under a pay-as-you-go model 26 years ago. Two of the projects, both in the New Orleans area, are still underway, according to a report by The Advocate:

Meanwhile, leaders have long since concluded that financing the improvements through a special, 4-cents-per-gallon tax was not enough.

The original price tag for the projects was $1.4 billion. The latest estimate is $5.2 billion.

“It is unbelievable,” said state Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, who is often involved in Baton Rouge-area highway projects.

State officials say construction will last up to 10 years, and taxpayers will be shelling out for these roads long after building has ended. Since the 4-cents-a-gallon tax fund the state is authorized to use for these projects is insufficient, the state is digging into a fund that’s supposed to cover ordinary road maintenance in the region. The raids will recur annually for the next 27 years, starting at $21.6 million this year and ending at an estimated $87.6 million in 2044.

“It was ill-conceived,” Republican Sen. Dale Erdey, a veteran member of the Senate Transportation Committee, told The Advocate. “They told Joe Public that it would be a pay-as-you-go-type situation, and of course, that was totally off base.”

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Advocates Share What It Takes to Fight Highway Expansions in Court 

What does it take to sue your state DOT? Time, money, the right partners, and a little creativity, a recent survey of activists found.

July 19, 2024

Friday Video: Paris Does it Again

Come for the bike-friendly streets, but stay for adopt-a-tree program and all the car-free school roadways.

July 19, 2024

Neighbors Want a BART Stop in San Antonio

It's one of the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area. BART goes right through it. So why not stop there?

July 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Rep. Waters hates the people mover; SacRT's new transportation hub; Lessons learned from a long bike ride; More

July 19, 2024

The Active Transportation Program Has to Strategize About its Severely Reduced Funding

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024
See all posts