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Jindal Announces I-49 Funding

House Bill 2 — the Capital Outlay Bill — includes $73-million to fund the final segment of Interstate-49 north.Governor Bobby Jindal made the announcement this afternoon to a room full of dignitaries at the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce.  Jindal’s plan is contingent on the passage of a bill introduced by Representative Jane Smith that would allow the state to bond-out $7.5-million from the state’s Unclaimed Property Fund to leverage an estimated $87-million for the tenth segment of the long-awaited highway.  $60-million of that would be used for the segment between Highway-1 north and Martin Luther King Drive.  The remaining $27-million — plus the $73-million in the Capital Outlay Bill — would fund the final segment from MLK to I-220.  Nine segments of the long awaited highway — totalling 31 miles — have already been bid and are either construction now or will be under construction later this year.  If the legislature approves the funding, construction on the tenth segment could start next year and the year after on the eleventh and final segment.  Jindal says, if everything falls into place as he hopes, we could be driving on I-49 from I-220 to the Arkansas border in 2016.  You can see video of part of the Governor’s announcement at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qjl7Ap7y3U0

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