Gov. Edwards Issues Executive Order to Strengthen Transparency in the Highway Priority Program
Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 3:17:45 PM
BATON ROUGE - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order to strengthen the process used by the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) in selecting projects for the Highway Priority Program.

“I am committed to ensuring transparency and accountability with taxpayer dollars that are spent to improve the state’s transportation system,” said Gov. Edwards. “We want all citizens who travel on state highways and roadways to have confidence that we are spending dollars in the state transportation trust fund in a responsible way, and I commend DOTD Sec. Shawn Wilson for the outstanding job he is doing in leading that effort. This is important because at the rate we’re going by the year 2019, our state will not be able to generate enough money in our state transportation trust fund to access all of our tax dollars in the federal transportation trust fund, and we cannot afford to do that. We must start making changes now and this executive order is an important step in the right direction.”

DOTD will make Highway Priority Program projects accessible to the public including those that are scheduled to be let for construction, future projects that are fully funded and all potential projects that can be funded if additional revenues become available. DOTD is also directed to modify the appeals process for access connection permits to allow business and economic development investments to proceed more quickly.

“Streamlining the Highway Priority process and increasing transparency will benefit citizens and the department as we move forward,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson. “With diminishing revenues, this is a critical first step in managing expectations of what the DOTD will be able to deliver and communicate to the public how the transportation fuel tax dollars are spent.”

Additionally, DOTD will submit an annual report to the legislature regarding the expenditure breakdown of the motor fuel tax, which includes:
  • Administrative and support services that include staff costs associated with executive level and administrative supervision.
  • Transportation funding used for debt service and multimodal programs.
  • Operations and maintenance expenses, not including administrative costs, for road repair and maintenance.
  • Program and project delivery including actual construction and construction engineering costs for projects.

To review this executive order in its entirety, click here.