Accidents caused by dilapidated infrastructure has everyone talking, including John Bel Edwards, who became Louisiana’s governor last November.
"For years, the Transportation Trust Fund has been raided to pay for other priorities," Edwards said, "leaving a $12 billion backlog in critical infrastructure projects."
UPDATE: Louisiana is now Rated a D+ Overall in 2017
Edwards isn’t the only one who shares this concern. Infrastructure has been a hot topic on the campaign trail this year. Across the country, the American infrastructure system has come under intense scrutiny, with politicians citing dangerous performance reports, like the 2013 Report Card for American Infrastructure researched by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Louisiana received a C- grade, with bridges and roadways scoring the lowest among several categories. Specifically, 1,827 of the 13,050 bridges were deemed structurally deficient. What’s more shocking, each motorist in the state of Louisiana spends an extra $464 a year to drive on roadways in need of major repair.
According to the report, "Nearly every deficiency noted in the road system is directly attributable to an inadequate and outdated funding model that forces transportation professionals to defer capacity, safety and maintenance projects."
Gov. Edwards Creates Transportation Task Force
In early June, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson announced the formation of the Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment—a group designated to research immediate threats, identify long-term funding solutions, and make recommendations "to be introduced in 2017 to fund a robust, multimodal construction program...".
During the next six months, the Louisiana Task Force will be researching and drafting plans that will hopefully reduce congestion and safety concerns on our local roadways. Additionally, they’ll be looking at ways in which Louisiana can become a leader in multimodal transportation, with an emphasis on sound and sustainability policies.
Staying Safe on Louisiana Roadways
In the meantime, motor vehicle accidents in Louisiana continue to be a likely occurrence, as excessive congestion and poor maintenance translates into a greater risk for drivers, their vehicles, and personal property.
Remember to heed warning signs during construction. Slow down for construction workers, and keep extra distance between you and the driver in front of you. As public roadways, bridges, and other municipal works begin their improvements, it’s going to take extra attention from everyone in the state of Louisiana to ensure the safety of other drivers during this critical time of development.
If you get in an accident in Louisiana
If you’re in a car accident, your No. 1 priority should be your health, but that’s often easier said than done, especially when taking time off work is a challenge, and expensive medical bills become a burden.
Choosing an experienced personal injury lawyer can make a huge difference to your recovery. While you focus on getting better, we take care of the insurance claim and manage the complicated legal process from start to finish.
Along with causing auto accidents, personal injury due to negligent drivers or safety hazards from poor infrastructure can affect pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s never been more important for us to share public roads with our fellow drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
If you have questions about auto accidents or a personal injury claim, we at the Monroe Law Office of J. Antonio Tramontana, Attorney at Law, want to hear from you. For a free case review, please fill out the form to the left, or call me directly at 318-340-1515.