BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After two years, Louisiana has seen billions of dollars be invested into major projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Lawmakers who played a role in the legislation are celebrating the projects that already have shovels in the ground, and more to come.
“People can read the news about bridges being built, their roads being upgraded,” Sen. Bill Cassidy said.
Cassidy was one of the original drafters of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. He said he wanted Louisiana to have a seat at the table while negotiating the legislation to bring more cash to the state. As of now, the White House reports nearly $8 billion is to be sent to Louisiana for roads, bridges, broadband, water and coastal projects.
“It has triggered tens of billions of dollars of private investment,” Cassidy said.
Among the statewide projects benefiting from these federal dollars includes capping over 500 orphaned wells, over 400,000 homes now have access to high speed internet, and the Calcasieu River Bridge received one of the mega grant awards to get a new bridge closer to reality.
“We can really build big things, but only when we do it together,” said Mitch Landrieu, senior advisor to the president.
The bipartisan legislation has been described as a once-in-a-lifetime bill. Some of Louisiana’s delegation was skeptical about the cost to taxpayers. Cassidy and Congressman Troy Carter were the only ones to vote for it in 2021. But from the president to local lawmakers, they have celebrated the groundbreaking on many long overdue projects.
“It’ll rival the Eisenhower effort to rebuild the interstates in this country and certainly surpass rural electrification,” Landrieu said. “There simply is no other administration that’s been able to do this much, much less in this short period of time.”
The funding from this legislation will continue to be rolled out in the coming years. The state can apply for more grants for additional projects.