WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) today announced Louisiana’s First Congressional District has been awarded $41.4 million by the U.S. Department of Transportation in two separate BUILD grants. St. Tammany Parish has been awarded $25 million to expand I-12, and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission has been awarded $16.4 million for the South Lafourche Airport Corridor Project.
“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 on this critical project,” said Whip Scalise.
“I’m also very excited to announce that another priority of mine, Port Fourchon’s Airport Connector Project will also receive a $16.4 million grant. Port Fourchon is a hub of economic activity, and as America continues to be a leading oil and gas producer, improving access to our offshore rigs is crucial. Construction of this industrial corridor will not only be a boon to our local economy, but has incredible national significance because of the importance of American energy production.”
Here is how local leaders are responding:
“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 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.”
“The Greater Lafourche Port Commission is excited and thankful for the opportunity to enhance the safety and the economy for our community with this grant. It will allow for collaboration on local, state, and federal levels to provide intermodal connectivity between the South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport and Port Fourchon. We thank Congressman Scalise and the Louisiana delegation for their continued support of the port commission’s top priorities,” said Chett Chaisson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commision.
Background information on the BUILD grants:
The $25 million grant will be used by St. Tammany Parish to begin the construction of additional lanes along I-12 to improve driver safety between LA 21 and US 190. According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, there have been more than 900 accidents on I-12 from LA 21 to US 190, since 2013.
The Greater Lafourche Port Commission’s $16.4 million grant will go towards the South Lafourche Airport Corridor Project, which will enhance Port Fourchon’s ability to provide air support to deepwater oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. The new roadway linking the South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport in Galliano to LA 3235 will allow for increased ability to transport personnel and equipment to the offshore rigs, which will greatly increase economic potential for Southeast Louisiana.