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Edwards announces appointments to transportation infrastructure task force

Nearly two dozen people representing transportation, business and industry, government and public policy will serve on a task force aimed at addressing Louisiana’s transportation infrastructure needs and a $12.7 billion backlog in highway and bridge maintenance projects.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today the appointments for the Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment.

The panel includes: Robert Travis Scott, president of the Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council; Reldon Owens, president Blueprint Louisiana; and Ken Naquin, CEO of the Louisiana Association of General Contractors, among many others. Political figures on the task force include Rep. Kenny Havard, chairman of the Louisiana House Committee on Transportation; House Speaker Taylor Barras; Senate President John Alario; Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne; and Department of Revenue Secretary Kimberly Robinson.

Edwards issued an executive order creating the task force on June 7.

“As the national interstate system turns 60 years old and our entire infrastructure system continues to age, it’s painfully obvious that something needs to be done to maintain and upgrade the state’s transportation system,” Edwards says in statement, adding that the task force extends beyond the traditional transportation industry.

Shawn Wilson, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development secretary and the committee’s co-chair, says the task force will spend six months researching, identifying and making recommendations for increasing the level of recurring dollars needed to address state’s backlog.

During that time, the panel will review the state’s transportation plan and reports to make recommendations on how best to invest in the state’s critical infrastructure.

“These recommendations will be ready to be introduced for legislation in 2017, and represent sustainable short-term and long-term funding plans,” Wilson says. “All modes of transportation will be impacted; current and future needs will be addressed, as will funding measures, to begin to address mega projects throughout the state.”

The other task force members appointed are:

  • Ronnie Harris, executive director, Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Roland Dartez, executive director, Police Jury Association
  • Sen. Page Cortez, chairman, Senate Transportation Committee
  • Ann Trappey, chairman, Baton Rouge Area Chamber Board of Directors
  • Jared Brossett, New Orleans City Councilman Transportation & Airport Chair
  • Wiley Gilfoil, Port Executive Director
  • Tom Yura, chairman, Louisiana Chemical Association
  • Greg Morrison, Gov. John Bel Edwards Transportation Transition Committee Chair and commercial trucking executive
  • Gen. John Basilica, former DOTD undersecretary, member of the Legislature’s 2014 Transportation Funding Task Force, member of Good Roads of Louisiana, and 33-year veteran of the Louisiana National Guard

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