Remarks as prepared for delivery
Rick Capka, Administrator, FHWA
Ground-breaking -- elevated portion of Louisiana 1
April 4, 2007, Fourchon, Louisiana
I'm happy to be here for this important event. I want you to know that LA-1 -- this investment in America -- was in the works before Katrina. The hurricane just put more urgency in the project.
This highway is vitally important to America's oil and gas supply and to stable energy prices. And it is literally sinking and often underwater. The new road will improve safety, expedite hurricane evacuation, and relieve congestion. The elevated roadway will also provide a tremendous reassurance that a storm far out in the Gulf won't cause flooding that stops shipments bound for market around the country.
The Bush Administration, Secretary Peters, and U.S. DOT are proud to work with Louisiana DOTD . . . and to provide about $88 million in federal aid, including a federal loan in May, 2005 to help finance construction.
In the national picture, the Bush Administration is moving ahead with a strong effort to relieve congestion-- --
- Through targeted construction using the best construction techniques (like LA-1).
- Through innovative financing to make more projects possible, and,
- By freeing states as much as possible from burdensome regulation.
Secretary Peters knows that keeping the transportation network up and running at full capacity is crucial to the national economy and the state economy. That's why I'm so glad to see the cooperative spirit of public agencies and private firms that resulted in this project going forward. We don't want transportation to be the choke point for economic activity on the Gulf Coast.
LA-1 is an excellent example of what we can accomplish working together -- with innovation, with the American can-do spirit, and with the determination to get the job done.