Monday, December 18, 2023
New LA 415 will Connect Routes to Support Evacuations and Mobility in Baton Rouge Parish
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Build America Bureau has provided a $88.3 million loan to the Louisiana State Bond Commission for the benefit of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) to build the LA 415 Connector, a new link between LA 1 and LA 415 at Interstate 10 (I-10) in the City of Port Allen in Baton Rouge Parish. By providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) loans and other financing, the Bureau helps communities expedite infrastructure projects and reduce project costs.
“The project is critical to improving resiliency and enhancing safety for people in the region by providing a direct connection and evacuation route for areas south of I-10,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “The new access west of LA 1 will also support regional economic growth for residents and businesses in this area.”
This loan is part of a plan that includes $38 million in other federal funding for the $268 million project. The project will deliver 2.7 miles of a new two-lane roadway to connect LA 1 and I-10, bridge structures over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, a new interchange between LA 415 and LA 1, and modifications of the I-10 ramps at LA 415.
“Louisiana strategically leveraged funding from a settlement with BP to finance a bundle of projects, which helped make the loan process more efficient,” said Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “This is the state’s seventh loan closed since 2021 for a total of $289 million, accelerating delivery of critical transportation solutions including five rural projects.”
“If all projects funded by the BP settlement were to be funded on a PAYGO only basis the construction would not be able to begin until 2025,” said LADOTD Executive Director Dr. Eric Kalivoda. “By prioritizing the eligible projects that are ready and accelerating construction by borrowing through the TIFIA program against the BP settlement funding, the State has accelerated the project lettings by four years and saved approximately $75 million in inflation costs from a delayed construction start.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has closed $39.8 billion in TIFIA financing, supporting more than $136.1 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.
The Build America Bureau advances investment in transportation infrastructure by lending Federal funds to qualified borrowers; clearing roadblocks for credit worthy projects; and encouraging best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operations. The Bureau draws on expertise across DOT to serve as a point of coordination for states, municipalities, private partners, and other project sponsors seeking Federal financing and technical assistance.