State roads, bridges are suffering

Louisiana civil engineers do not rate their state travel infrastructure highly according to a report they recently gave it: State roads got a “D” and bridges a “D-plus.”

The grades remained about the same as five years ago by the Louisiana chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. As for our levees, they rate very high because of the billiions of federal dollars that went into them after Hurricane Katrina.

But the main state issue is  funding the DOTD (Department of Transportation and Development) that handles most of the roads and bridges.

Kam Movassaghi, who was DOTD executive director in the early 2000’s, and his colleagues urged action but the 2012 report failed to arouse any action among lawmakers.

They could have sought solutions including higher gasoline taxes to keep ahead of inflation.

Since then, the roads and bridges along the routes have all gotten worse.

But, so far, the Legislature has not moved on pushing them toward improvement.

Gov. John Bel Edwards commissioned another state report on the conditions of our highway structures last year. He maintains the gasoline tax is buying about half as much in work as it did decades ago.

The roads and bridges and other related structures have all gotten worse, mainly because of less revenue coming. And the time is now to start getting something done about it.

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