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Dec 15, 2009 7:28 PM by Kate Mundy

$29 Million For Acadiana Transportation Projects

Acadiana is getting $29 million for three transportation projects. The shovel ready projects were already planned for two or three years from now, but the state came up with a plan to free-up money and start the projects in 2010.

A St. Landry Parish project is one of three on the fast track. $17 million was freed up to improve Interstate 49 ahead of schedule. Almost eleven miles along I-49 will be overlayed with four inches of asphaltic concrete for a smoother ride than what they have now.

The work stretches from the parish line to US 190. "It sounds like gumba gumble gumble and then when you get to the parish line in Lafayette it's just smooth sailing, so we'll get rid of the noise and the bouncing," said District 24 Senator Elbert Guillory.

Money for the project comes from unused operational funds like extra gas tax revenue. "This is newly identified cash for road work for our contractors to bid on in the current fiscal year which helps to create and maintain jobs in Louisiana and improve more of our roads at the same time."

Governor Bobby Jindal made the announcement Tuesday in Lafayette alongside local and state lawmakers.

"Through this plan the state is going to bank these funds and construction projects rather than having them sit in the treasury," said Governor Jindal.

The dollars will eventually be reimbursed by federal funds. $10 million will go to replace the Jefferson Street Bridge over the Bayou Teche in Iberia Parish.

Another $1.8 million will smooth out a 2 mile section of South Fieldspan Road in Lafayette Parish to US 90.

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