Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today that Parish Government has submitted its application for a $36 million federal BUILD Grant to help fund the next phase of widening I-12 in St. Tammany Parish. This application follows her pledge to testify before a U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and requests to the Governor and U.S. Senator John Kennedy to provide bi-partisan support for this grant as well as other funding sources. She has also committed $7.2 million dollars of match funding from Parish Government.
“We want this project to become and remain a top priority until its completion. We will continue to seek support and funding from every possible source, until we see action,” Said Brister. “The safety of this community is my primary concern, and we will not rest until the project is complete.”
The grant details the necessity of the project and provides a detailed analysis for its justification. It states that Interstate 12 is part of the National Highway Freight Network and Louisiana’s Tier 1 Freight Network. The segment between Louisiana State Highway 21 and U.S. 190 provides a level of service well below the national standards for that designation. Even non-fatal accidents can block traffic in this corridor for hours. In the past five years, more than 900 crashes have occurred in the corridor affecting approximately 2800 vehicle occupants. Congestion will only grow, with traffic forecasts predicting an average Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) for this segment to be between 104,300 and 126,800 by 2038.
Congress has dedicated nearly $5.6 billion for nine rounds of National Infrastructure Investments through the BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant with $1.5 billion available through this round. These funds are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state in this round. Applications will be evaluated based on merit criteria, including: safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-Federal revenue for infrastructure investments. This project’s benefit cost ratio of 8 to 1 demonstrates a very high return on investment benefitting the residents of St. Tammany Parish.
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