St. Tammany Awarded $25 million BUILD Grant to Widen I-12
Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today that St. Tammany was awarded $25 million in BUILD grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the I-12 widening project.
“This is a huge win for all of us — the St. Tammany community and the people who travel this interstate. To see that the federal government has chosen to support our mission in making our interstate system safer by awarding this $25 million BUILD Grant, reinforces the necessity of this project. We can’t wait to get started. We also sincerely appreciate the leadership and efforts of our Congressman Steve Scalise and the rest of the Louisiana delegation on securing this funding.” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “We committed to doing our part to find a funding source for this project, and this first step is a success, which means we can move forward in the plans to make the I-12 safer for travel. We will still continue to seek support and funding from every possible source, and we will continue to push for immediate action. The safety of St. Tammany and every person who comes through here is — and has always been— my top concern.”
"This $25 million grant to widen I-12 in St. Tammany has long been a top priority of mine, and the recent tragedy over Memorial Day weekend underscored why this project is needed, and why today’s announcement by DOT Secretary Chao is so important. I especially thank St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister for being a leader, ally, and strong local advocate for this critical project," said U.S Congressman Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip.
“These resources will go toward critical infrastructure projects in Louisiana that will create jobs and support economic growth. Widening I-12 will eliminate bottlenecks in St. Tammany Parish and improve highway safety,” said U.S. Senator, Dr. Bill Cassidy. “During our phone call this morning I gave a big thank you to Secretary Chao for listening to our needs and approving these resources.”
“The widening of Interstate 12 is critical to public safety. After the Memorial Day weekend fatalities, I started working with state and local leaders to convince Secretary Chao that this funding was necessary to save lives. I want to thank St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and state Sen. Jack Donahue for working tirelessly with me on this project,” said U. S. Senator John Kennedy.
Brister has been pushing for the prioritization of the I-12 widening project since 2013. In early June of 2018, she appealed to Governor John Bel Edwards and the LADOTD to move up the timeline of the project, after the state had previously pushed back construction and in the wake of a fatal accident over Memorial Day weekend. She also met several times with LADOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson to ensure the design of the project would continue as her search for funding continued, so that when the funding was identified, the project would be shovel-ready, as well as to request immediate short-term safety solutions. She announced the application for the BUILD Grant in mid-July and committed to $7.2 million in funding from Parish Government. The Louisiana Congressional delegation offered their written support in a letter to U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Choa.
The $36 million total application encompasses $25 million in BUILD Grant funding; $7.2 million match from St. Tammany Parish Government; and a $3.8 million contribution from LADOTD. The project start date is to be determined after consultation with LADOTD.