WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today joined Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) at a formal grant announcement marking the award of $45,000,000 to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for the LA 23 Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement project. The funding is provided through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program.
“This important project will enhance safety, decrease travel times and improve the quality of life for the people in this area,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
“I thank Secretary Chao for coming to New Orleans and making these projects possible,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We discussed with local leaders the enhancements we can make at our ports, and the grant for the Belle Chasse Tunnel and Replacement Project that will improve access to Plaquemines Parish, Belle Chasse air station, and businesses along Highway 23.”
The Louisiana Department of Transportation will receive $45,000,000 for the Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement project which replaces a 60+-year-old reinforced-concrete tunnel and the adjacent structural steel vertical-lift-span bridge crossing the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The replacement bridge will be a single mid-level fixed-span four-lane facility built to current standards. The new bridge will also include a separate protected pedestrian/bicycle lane.
The Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement project will support the economic vitality of the New Orleans region by eliminating delays caused by frequent bridge openings on LA 23 and enabling the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to operate more efficiently. The project generates regional mobility and safety benefits through the reduction in travel time, vehicle operating costs savings and emissions reductions by constructing the new bridge facility.
INFRA grants support the Administration’s commitment to fixing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure, using innovative approaches to improve the necessary processes for building significant projects, and increasing accountability for the projects that are built.
For more information, please visit www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/infragrants.