Louisiana Nabs $86.6 Million Loan for Highway Interchange
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Louisiana has qualified for an $86.6 million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund an interchange at U.S. Highway 90 and Louisiana Highway 3073 as part of a future Interstate 49 South corridor project.
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan will help the state save on inflation costs by accelerating the $136 million project, which involved building a grade-separated interchange 4,000 feet north of the Corne Road and U.S. 90 intersection.
“With the assistance of TIFIA funding, we are able to save on inflation by constructing tomorrow’s infrastructure needs today,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This segment of U.S. 90 is already a major industrial corridor in Louisiana that will expand significantly as we work to upgrade this corridor to interstate standards.”
With the help of TIFIA funding, we save on inflation by constructing tomorrow's infrastructure today. The I-49 South corridor will support economic growth, reduce traffic, and improve connectivity throughout the state's transportation system. #lagov
: https://t.co/E92Y7Su0nG — John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) August 4, 2022
The TIFIA program provides credit assistance for qualified projects of regional and national significance. It features loans with low interest rates that do not accrue until funds are drawn. Able to be deferred for five years after substantial project completion, repayment periods can be for 35 years or longer. Under the bipartisan infrastructure law, repayment of some loans can be extended for up to 75 years.
The project is part of a multibillion dollar, multiyear construction initiative to convert 160 miles of the current U.S. 90 corridor to Interstate 49 South. When completed, I-49 will extend from the current terminus at I-10 in Lafayette to the West Bank Expressway in New Orleans.
Construction is expected to start later this year and end in early 2026. It also includes creating two-lane frontage roads (each for northbound and southbound traffic) over BNSF Railway.
Other work includes:
- Widening U.S. 90 to six lanes.
- Building a six-lane bridge structure over LA 3073 (also called Ambassador Caffery Parkway).
- Creating U-turn lanes.
- Widening and rebuilding LA 3073 to accommodate a new interchange configuration.
- Adding drainage structures.
According to Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, this work will extend the design life of the route and improve safety. The project will also call for clearing and grubbing to relocate multiple utilities throughout the project limits.
When complete, the I-49 South corridor will support economic growth, improve access and lower traffic congestion throughout Louisiana’s transportation system.
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