St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister continued her appeal to accelerate widening of a 4.5 mile stretch of 1-12 by agreeing to testify before a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and by seeking bi-partisan support from Governor John Bel Edwards and Senator John Kennedy for a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Build Grant.
In a letter from Brister to Kennedy sent this morning, Brister thanked the Louisiana Senator for “…increasing funding for Louisiana road and transportation projects by $74 million.” She advocated for those dollars and more to be assigned to the I-12 widening project and cited the recent tragic accident that led to the death of four people and injured nearly one dozen as a clear reason why easing the traffic congestion in St. Tammany could no longer be ignored. Wrote Brister, “It is unconscionable that the plea of my administration and the citizens of this Parish had largely been ignored until the fatal accident awakened transportation officials to the dire need for widening I-12 in St. Tammany. Today, I am more encouraged than ever that this problem will be addressed and construction on widening this corridor will be accelerated.”
Brister noted in her letter that she was pleased to see the Governor and our U.S. Senator in agreement on this major capital improvement need. Brister stated, “Senator, I am encouraged that you were able to raise funding levels … from the Federal Highway Trust fund to an estimated $814 million for Louisiana next year. I also appreciated your outreach to Governor John Bel Edwards regarding the bi-partisan support for this critical measure. We, too, are asking the Governor to approve a Build Grant request for this widening project, and we have agreed to work collaboratively and sign as co-applicants for the major infrastructure grant to address this portion of the roadway.”
Brister offered to assist the Senator in any way to help secure the needed funding to widen this critical stretch of roadway. Wrote Brister, “… please let me know what is necessary to help St. Tammany begin building a safer, less congested roadway. I am willing to do everything from contacting your fellow congressional leaders to launching a grassroots advocacy campaign for funding to testifying before a federal committee on the need for transportation funding.”
Read the letter here.