Francis Thompson

Approximately $37 million will soon be invested in capital improvement projects in surrounding areas, said Senator Francis Thompson.

Plans for the projects were accounted for in the state’s construction budget, or House Bill 2. This year, HB 2 totaled some $3.4 billion and groups projects into different priorities. 

The projects included in HB 2 for northeast Louisiana range from transportation and public works projects to the construction of new economic development and recreational facilities.

“This is a great day for northeast Louisiana,” Thompson said. “Many critical projects are moving forward to improve quality of life and increase economic opportunities for the citizens of Senate District 34.”

While funding for each project does not become available until such time as bonds are sold, or an advance cash line-of-credit is approved by the State Bond Commission, Thompson said he feels confident this will occur in the coming months and area residents will soon see developments on many of these projects.

In addition to capital outlay projects, Thompson co-authored an amendment to House Bill 578 in the Senate dedicating $40 million from the Deepwater Horizon settlement to improvements to state-owned bridges and roads that are not eligible for federal highway funds. The northeast Louisiana legislative delegation has secured a commitment from Gov. John Bel Edwards that this funding will advance many bridge and road projects in the region, with a focus on farm to market roads.

The first portion of some $50 million from a special allocation has been dedicated for bridge rehabilitation and replacement for special projects in the northeast Louisiana region. Repairs or replacements to the Joe’s Bayou Bridge in East Carroll Parish and Madison Parish and the Muddy Bayou, Little Creek, and Cypress Creek Bridges in Richland Parish will be funded through this program at a cost of approximately $8 million. Further, some $80 million has been dedicated for two projects to restore the I-20 Mississippi River Bridge.

 “These bridges are crucial in moving products and commodities from the farm to the market, and the northeast delegation has worked in a unified fashion to support these priorities,” Thompson said.  “I am dedicated to continuing to work with my colleagues at home and around the state to continue bringing important projects such as these to our area.”

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