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Rep. Higgins, delegation urges Biden Administration to approve grant for I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge

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Posted at 1:02 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 14:02:09-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) led a Louisiana congressional delegation in a letter Thursday to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urging him to approve the state’s application for an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant to replace the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge.

According to a release from Higgins' office, U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Garret Graves (R-LA), Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Julia Letlow (R-LA) all signed onto the letter.

In the letter, the delegation wrote:

This project meets INFRA Grant standards in that it is focused on alleviating serious congestion issues on a highly traveled corridor. Specifically, the interstate segment encompassing the project area experiences a reduction in travel lanes from six to four lanes of traffic, leading to bottlenecking, time delays, and increased safety risks.

While at this time the bridge is structurally sound, it lacks modern safety features. If awarded, combined with the State’s commitment of $85 million, the INFRA grant will enable leveraging gap financing through a Private-Public Partnership (P3).

This region of Louisiana is quickly becoming a global leader in energy exports, contributing to American energy dominance. In 2020 alone, Southwest Louisiana has completed $40 billion in industrial projects with another $60 billion in projects pending.

Adding additional lanes would expand the capabilities of the I-10 corridor, which is vital for Southwest Louisiana, Houston, and New Orleans. With strategic investment in Southwest Louisiana's infrastructure needs, we can unlock its full potential, benefiting the entire nation.

The full letter can be read here.

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