Graves Statement on $135 Million Grant for Louisiana Highway 1
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today that Louisiana Highway 1 is receiving a $135 million grant from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to construct approximately 8.3 miles of elevated highway from Leeville Bridge to Golden Meadow. Graves’ amendment to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires that projects which support national energy security receive priority consideration for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program.
“I want to thank President Trump, Secretary Chao and Congressman Steve Scalise for all of their great efforts to help secure the largest transportation grant in America. This historic investment builds on hundreds of millions of dollars in investments and secures affordable and reliable energy resources for all American families,” Graves said.
Background on Graves’ involvement:
On February 21, 2020, the Louisiana Congressional Delegation, led by Scalise, wrote a letter to Secretary Chao expressing their support for the INFRA grant application for Louisiana Highway 1.
On December 3, 2015, Graves spoke (video above) on the U.S. House floor about the landmark transportation bill and the importance for Louisiana. In December 2015, Graves helped to finalize negotiations on the five-year highway funding bill, the FAST Act, which included many provisions designed to address Louisiana’s traffic problems and substantial increases in federal highway funding for Louisiana. Graves’ previous negotiation efforts, as a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and as a co-author of the FAST Act, included an amendment to prioritize roadways vital to national energy security. The FAST Act provided a $500 million boost to Louisiana’s federal transportation funding and included the new, $1 billion annual grant program. On August 30, 2018, Graves announced the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded $80,699,190 in new federal funding to Louisiana to advance the I-10 interchange at Pecue Lane.
The FAST Act also provided $100 million more in federal transportation grant funds that have resulted in the Terrace/Washington street exit reconfiguration and I-10 lane addition (Highland Road to Prairieville/Dutchtown exit). Graves spoke, above, at the construction ceremony for the work to begin the reconfiguration of the Washington St. exit, what Graves called a game-changer and a smart fix for a stupid problem.
Graves (remarks begin in video above at 1:51:27 mark) was a conferee to the House-Senate conference, working closely with committee leaders from both chambers to reach a bicameral, bipartisan agreement on the landmark transportation bill.
On November 3, 2015, Graves spoke on the U.S. House Floor about the new competitive grant program and offered the amendment to prioritize projects that alleviate bottlenecks in substandard interstate systems, i.e., Interstate 10. I-10 Eastbound coming of the Mississippi River bridge is one of the only places in the country that the interstate drops down to one lane - causing unacceptable and painfully long traffic jams for motorists in the Capitol Region. The amendment aimed to increase our ability to compete for these federal dollars so that we can get our roads moving. In October 2015, Graves introduced the provisions to promote LA 1 as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee prepares to mark up the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill designed to increase funding and provide improvements to infrastructure projects across the country.