Louisiana Transportation Set for Major Upgrade with Finalized $88.3M TIFIA Loan

By Calcasieu Staff
Published December 19, 2023

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has secured an $88.3 million federal loan to support a $268 million initiative aimed at linking LA 1 and LA 415 at Interstate 10 in Port Allen. This project, spanning 2.6 miles, will involve constructing a new connector between LA 1 near LA 988 (Beaulieu Lane) and I-10 at the LA 415 interchange, complete with a new four-lane roadway and bridges over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau has facilitated this low-interest Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to DOTD through the Louisiana State Bond Commission. To finance the loan, DOTD has utilized BP settlement agreement Act 443 funds, with an additional $38 million in federal funding also allocated to the project.

This marks the final closing in a series of seven TIFIA loans secured by DOTD for project development and construction. DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda emphasized that obtaining loans for these eligible projects means they will be ready for implementation within a shorter time frame.

The LA 415 connector project is expected to commence construction in late 2025 or early 2026, with substantial completion anticipated by late 2028.

“If all projects funded by the BP settlement were to be funded on a PAYGO only basis, the construction would not be able to begin until 2025,” Kalivoda said. “By prioritizing the eligible projects that are ready, and accelerating construction by borrowing through the federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program against the BP settlement funding, the state has accelerated the project lettings by four years and saved approximately $75 million in inflations costs from a delayed construction start.”

“The project is critical to improving resiliency and enhancing safety by providing a direct connection and evacuation route for areas south of I-10,” said USDOT Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “The new access west of LA 1 will also support regional economic growth for residents and businesses in this rural area.”

“Louisiana strategically leveraged funding from a settlement with BP to finance a bundle of projects, which helped make the loan process more efficient,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “This is the state’s seventh loan closed since 2021 for a total of $227 million, accelerating delivery of critical transportation solutions.”