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Work underway on upgrading La.1, a key link to Louisiana’s oil hub

Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state and local officials broke ground on Friday on a key upgrade to La.1 in South Lafourche.

The $463 million project will add 8.3 miles of elevated highway from Golden Meadow to Leeville and improve access to the Gulf of Mexico Oilfield Service Center in Port Fourchon.

When completed in 2027, it will tie in with previous upgrades so that 19.3 miles of highway will be raised between Golden Meadow and the port.

“This project is part of a much larger vision for Louisiana, which is why we have continued to invest in infrastructure and development,” Edwards said. “This corridor will relieve regional transportation needs, creating a resilient structure, while stimulating economic growth. »

“Elevating La. 1 has long been a top priority for me, and today’s monumental inauguration is a significant step forward for the security of our region and the energy security of the country,” said the U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, R-Metairie. “Rising to La. 1 ensures that our state will continue to play a vital role in America’s energy dominance for decades to come.”

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy and Rep. Garret Graves, both Republicans, and Congressman Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, also hailed the latest development as a boost for the oil and gas and construction industries. naval force in the region, as well as an improved hurricane escape route. Port Fourchon and Grand Isle.

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Louisiana Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson said more than 1,300 trucks and heavy vehicles travel La. 1 each day to and from the port, a service hub for about 90% of oil and gas platforms. of the Gulf.

“The elevation of La. 1 solves the challenges presented when port activity comes to a halt due to flooding on the existing at-grade freeway,” Wilson said.

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., speaks during a groundbreaking ceremony Friday in Leeville for an upgrade to La. 1 in South Lafourche.

The state learned in June 2020 that a federal grant, secured with the help of Scalise and Graves, would pay $135 million for the work. About $150 million will come from the state’s share of fines imposed on BP after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The rest will come from a combination of state construction funds, the Lafourche Port Commission, the parish council and oil companies and companies that use or depend on the port.

“Nearly seven years ago, we wrote the federal law that resulted in priority federal funds for nationally significant energy corridors like La 1,” Graves said. “This long-term strategy directly allowed us to partner with Representative Scalise to bring home the largest transportation grant awarded in 2020 for this project. This is a perfect example of a real, local infrastructure solution that meets our national priorities.