Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson announced the state’s intention to utilize federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle Bonds (GARVEE Bonds) to construct four major projects in three areas of Louisiana that have been part of the State’s Transportation Master Plan for decades.
The state will begin the administrative process to request approximately $600 million in bonds, consistent with current state law. When the funding is received, it will allow the state to construct the following:
- A substantial portion of the I-10 reconstruction and widening from the Mississippi River Bridge to the I-10/I-12 split in Baton Rouge—widening is required to maintain traffic during the reconstruction process;
- A new interchange on I-10 in Kenner at Loyola Drive to serve the new Armstrong airport terminal currently under construction;
- A new access from I-20 directly into Barksdale AFB in Bossier City;
- Up to 10% of project cost for new toll bridges (the Belle Chasse bridge and tunnel replacement project would be eligible if the funds are necessary).
GARVEE bonds allow the state to repay the debt with federal highway funds the state receives each year. The debt will be paid over 12 years. Significant financial contributions are being made by local governments and the metropolitan planning organizations in the impacted areas of the state.
All of the projects are expected to receive environmental clearance by the end of 2018, which is also the anticipated timeframe that the GARVEE program will be finalized. Additionally, the LaDOTD will proceed to seek approval to use design-build for the Loyola interchange and Barksdale entrance projects such that both projects will not have to wait for funding once environmental clearance is achieved. LaDOTD will make a decision on the preferred delivery method for the I-10 reconstruction and widening once the constructability analysis is completed.
Source: Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development