Last Modified: Monday, August 20, 2012 10:51 AM
The State Bond Commission approved using $150 million in bonded funds and state highway improvement money for a three-year program to resurface more than 1,000 miles of roadways that do not qualify for federal assistance.
The Quality Surface Program includes $425 million in repair and resurfacing projects statewide, which the state Department of Transportation and Development chooses based on traffic volume and roadway quality. The commission’s approval keeps the program’s financing on track.
The program’s first year includes two projects in Southwest Louisiana, both in Beauregard Parish. One is resurfacing eight miles of La. 389 from La. 109 to the Calcasieu Parish line, which could cost from $1 million to $2.5 million. The other is resurfacing one mile of La. 399 from La. 112 to the Vernon Parish line, which has an estimated price tag of up to $500,000.
Steve Jiles, administrator for the local DOTD’s district, said the program gives resources for some roads “that have been neglected for years.”
“A lot of those roads are accessed by the timber industry,” he said. “We have just over 100 miles of non-federal aid roads in Southwest Louisiana, and most are in reasonable shape. But other areas of the state, like Monroe and Shreveport, have 400-500 miles to deal with.”
DOTD officials plan to accept bids for the projects in January. Jiles said the projects for the program’s second year could be announced in October.
The Quality Surface Program resulted from Gov. Bobby Jindal signing a bill into law that allows the State Highway Improvement Fund’s revenue stream to be bonded for roads that could not receive federal money.