Louisiana DOTD Starts Allocating COVID Relief Fundseditor@aashto.org April 23, 2021 0 COMMENTS
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is beginning to allocate the approximately $216 received by the state for road and infrastructure projects from the $1.4 trillion 2020 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act or CRRRSAA passed in December 2020.
[Above photo by the Louisiana DOTD]
Governor John Bel Edwards (D) noted in a statement that $155 million of those funds can be allocated “at the state’s discretion,” with $30 million specifically targeted for bridge repair and/or replacement, $20 million to the state’s large metro areas, and $11 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
“As you are all aware, the state’s roads and bridges are in great need of repair and upgrade,” the governor added. “Addressing these needs has been a priority of my administration. We have proven what we can do when we have funds and have invested over $3 billion in infrastructure since 2016, despite a 1980s revenue stream as the main source of funding. Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure will benefit greatly from this additional funding.”
“We will certainly use these funds to replace funds that were lost as a result of the coronavirus [COVID-19 pandemic] and apply them to some of the most needed projects in all regions of Louisiana,” noted Louisiana DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson.
“Unlike previous federal bills, these funds can be used for operating costs,” he explained. “While none will be used for [Louisiana] DOTD salaries, supplies or travel, we will replace some of our heavy equipment used by district forces in maintaining our state-owned highways and bridges.”
Other state departments of transportation are also beginning to receive and allocate funds from that $1.4 trillion funding package.
For example, the Georgia Department of Transportation began allocating $277 million it received from the CRRSAA in mid-March to support several strategic transportation improvements in predominantly rural areas – mainly in support of the state’s freight network.
Meanwhile, the Oregon Transportation Commission approved an Oregon Department of Transportation plan to spend $124 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding on road maintenance in mid-march as well.