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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

DOT's Trottenberg: "This interchange project... is part of an overall improvement plan"

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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau has provided the Louisiana State Board with a low-interest loan for $86.6 million, which will benefit the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The loan will be used to fund the I-49 S. Ambassador Caffery/US 90 Interchange near Broussard in Lafayette Parish.

“This interchange project will enhance safety, improve evacuations during life-threatening weather events, and is part of an overall improvement plan that supports job creation for the region,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg in a release.

The project is the last of four from a transportation project financing package approved by the Bureau in August 2021 and funded through a settlement with British Petroleum following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The 2.4-mile-long project will include the construction of interchanges at US 90 and Ambassador Caffery Blvd. and US 90 and Albertson Parkway, as well as new two-lane frontage roads.

"The Louisiana leaders developed a package of projects that the Bureau was able to review and approve as a bundle, speeding up the process for each individual loan,” said DOT Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “Three of the four projects qualified for reduced interest rates, half the treasury rate, through our Rural Projects Initiative.”

The Build America Bureau was established during the Obama Administration as a "one-stop-shop" to help states and other project sponsors work on planned infrastructure projects. It offers technical assistance, low-interest credit programs and top-of-the-line services in project planning, financing, delivery and operation. Following the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law being signed by President Joe Biden in November, the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program expanded its eligibility and gave loan recipients additional flexibility.

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