Second major transportation project of the region’s top needs

Baton Rouge, La. (January 12, 2018) – Today, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) will join Governor John Bel Edwards, DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson, and Mayor President Sharon Weston Broome for the announcement of $600 million dollars through a bond issue dedicated to transportation infrastructure. This money, to be divided among several projects across Louisiana, includes $350 million in funds to widen the I-10 corridor, the Capital Region’s worst traffic chokepoint. This project was identified by BRAC and its partnership with the CRISIS Coalition as a major transportation priority for the region. BRAC’s previous analysis ranked the I-10 widening project as providing one of the highest benefits among possible megaprojects, in terms of the congestion relief compared to cost of construction.

BRAC applauds this announcement, and what it will mean for the region. Not only will this project significantly improve quality of life for those who live, work, and recreate in the Capital Region every day, it will also provide major benefits to the economic development of the Baton Rouge Area and Louisiana.

“This is a great step forward in addressing our region’s infrastructure crisis, and our Board commends Secretary Wilson and the Edwards administration for using innovative financing options to make sure vital projects move forward,” said Ric Kearny, BRAC board chair and Area President for Capital One. “There is more to be done to achieve all of our megaprojects and local transportation needs, and yet today is an incredible step in the right direction.”

BRAC has worked tirelessly on transportation initiatives for the Baton Rouge Area in recent years. These include efforts to form the CRISIS Coalition in 2015, coordinate a unified voice for transportation priorities across the Capital Region, pursue political support for regional transportation priorities during the gubernatorial and legislative elections, and organize statewide business coalitions for legislative transportation priorities.

“Across our nine-parish area, from the west side to the east side, transportation and traffic relief is the number one priority of the Baton Rouge Area’s business community,” said BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp. “With this announcement, Louisiana makes it clear that it is committed to meeting the infrastructure needs of our growing economy. This project, coupled with the recent groundbreaking to widen I-10 from East Baton Rouge to Ascension, provides a tremendous step forward for addressing this region’s traffic challenges.”

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at  brac.org.

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