Louisiana DOTD joins Infrastructure Week 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016 at 4:51:22 PM

May 16, 2016

Contact: Bambi Hall

Louisiana DOTD joins Infrastructure Week 2016

Infrastructure Week – May 16th-23rd, 2016 – is a week-long series of events

raising awareness about how #InfrastructureMatters to our country’s

economy, health and safety, and communities

BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces its participation in the national advocacy and educational event, Infrastructure Week, which will take place from May 16-23. Across the country, businesses, labor organizations, elected officials and more will join together to tell citizens and policymakers alike how #InfrastructureMatters to their communities, businesses and jobs, health and safety, and daily lives – and the need for increased and continued investment from all levels of government and the private sector.

Since January 2016, DOTD has invested approximately $130.5 million, letting 74 projects covering over 350 miles of Louisiana roadways.

“We're looking forward to highlighting DOTD’s efforts during this week of emphasis on infrastructure," said Dr. Shawn Wilson, secretary for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "We are focused on building a balanced transportation system, one that involves freight, one that involves trucks, rails, aviation, ports and maritime, in addition to our highways - which is about 95 percent of the work we do today.”

Strong, resilient infrastructure is critical to our country’s economic growth and vitality. Yet, we are still falling behind due to crumbling and outdated roads, bridges, rails, airports and seaports, water pipes and the power grid. A 2016 report found 59,000 structurally deficient bridges across America. Media stories of tainted water, natural gas leaks, and other infrastructure crises have become commonplace. And the failure to invest in infrastructure increases drag on the whole economy, costing America $2 in GDP for every $1 we fail to invest.

While Congress has begun to address the state of America’s infrastructure, the work is nowhere near complete, and it has increasingly been left to state legislatures, cities, and towns across the nation to bear the burden of failing – and increasingly dangerous – infrastructure, and to rebuild and invest in new projects.

“Louisiana’s challenges with maintaining infrastructure are well known,” said Senate Transportation Chair Page Cortez, who represents District 23. “We have done a great job in rebuilding our infrastructure since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but we still have more to do. This is an opportunity for us to highlight both our accomplishments and our needs.”

House Transportation Chair Rep. Kenneth Havard (D. 62) said, “We are one of the nation’s most productive industrial states, but also one of its most vulnerable to catastrophic weather events; therefore, we are uniquely challenged. Infrastructure must remain a top priority in Louisiana to ensure our current and future economic development.”

For its efforts, DOTD will use its social media platform to engage stakeholders with photos, facts and videos on Facebook, Twitter and the DOTD website – www.dotd.la.gov.

“We are thrilled that the LADOTD is joining Infrastructure Week. The dire state of America’s infrastructure is one of the most pressing issues facing us as a nation, and the benefits of a healthy infrastructure system are far-reaching and long-lasting,” said Zach Schafer, director of Infrastructure Week. “During Infrastructure Week, we are bringing together minds from the public and private sector to encourage lawmakers to continue investing in infrastructure and transportation at the federal, state and local level.”

For information on DOTD, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Motorists can access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions using the 511 Traveler Information System by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region on which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also access this information by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org.

More information about Infrastructure Week and how #InfrastructureMatters can be found at http://infrastructureweek.org/.