Baton Rouge I-10 widening project to be paid for with borrowed federal dollars
The Edwards administration today unveiled a $600 million package of major interstate improvement projects, including a $350 million widening of Interstate 10 through Baton Rouge from the base of the Mississippi River Bridge to the I-10/12 split.
At a press conference at the new Water Campus packed with city and business leaders as well as elected officials from around the state, Edwards and Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson explained that money for the projects, which promise to address some of the state’s most pressing infrastructure needs, would come from federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle Bonds.
GARVEE bonds allow the state to repay the debt with federal highway funds the state receives each year. The debt, amounting to between $60 million and $70 million for the state, will be paid over 12 years.
“All we’re doing with this is borrowing money from the federal government and leveraging it and bringing it forward,” Wilson said. “It’s not creating new revenue. It’s a reallocation of priorities.”