White: 4-lane highway approved

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2016

Amid the turmoil over the budget, State Rep. Malinda White said there is some good news from Baton Rouge.

White said that after years of paying a 4-cent gas tax, area residents will see construction beginning on the Highway 3241 project in the next year.

That project will connect Bush to Interstate 12 via a four-lane highway. The state passed a law in 1989 that created a 4-cent fuel tax that was intended to build the highway, but for decades the project was put on hold as other state roads were built or repaired.

“There’s a long history,” White said. “Our people are very, very upset who have paid this 4-cent sales tax over all these years. The whole state of Louisiana has enjoyed the benefit of the tax and their projects have been done, except for ours.”

But, White said, now the state is committed to building the highway.

“We have a commitment now from the secretary of transportation saying that (the state) will honor that project,” she said.

According to White, the highway will be built in stages. The first stage will include the construction of a two-lane highway, and then two more lanes will be added in successive years.

At present, she said land rights are being acquired. If the state can secure some federal funding, the project could begin soon. White said federal funds could come because the corridor — a quicker route north from the Northshore area — can be used as a hurricane evacuation route.

“By the end of 2017 we should begin seeing the clearing of the land,” she said.