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It's Time To Address the Infrastructure Emergency On I-10


The I-10 bridge crossings in Baton Rouge and Lake Charles are something everyone from Slidell to Lake Charles are burdened with. Lives will be lost due to the inadequate capacity should a Katrina style evacuation occur again. Vital transportation to and from the energy corridor is at risk. It's a threat to the whole US economy and national security. All of us who travel through Baton Rouge and Lake Charles I-10 have been affected numerous times by unsafe conditions and unthinkable delays. It is not a local issue. It is an issue for the entire I-10 corridor from Slidell to the Texas border and drivers statewide.

For years the legislature has swept money from unclaimed funds owed to Louisiana citizens into the general fund and spent it. If everybody showed up now to claim it the state would have to come up with 900 million dollars. State Treasurer John Schroder wants to pass legislation to require the money to go into a trust fund instead. We support that idea. Since 80 or 90 million in unclaimed revenue shows up each year, with interest you could easily build a billion dollars in a decade. The interest on those funds could provide a long term revenue stream to solve these two critical water crossing issues for all of us who travel I-10.

By creating this trust fund a dedicated revenue stream can finally get these two bridges and associated infrastructure going. It is something we plan to reach out about directly to Treasurer Schroder, the Capital Area Legislative Delegation, the Acadiana Legislative Delegation, and Senator Rick Ward who heads the 5 parish authority for the Capital Region bridge. In discussions I have had with members of our legislative delegation, I have suggested a unified effort to fund the Capital Area and Lake Charles projects. These two delegations should unify on this one issue. Together they should insist that this infrastructure emergency receives the needed revenue stream before any budget is approved this year. We look forward to getting thoughts from these two delegations, Treasurer Schroder, Senator Ward, officials statewide, and most importantly you.

Richard Lipsey
Put Louisiana First




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