While the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden late last year was the source of much partisan bickering, most states desperately need the money they’ll be receiving from it to repair and upgrade their roads and bridges. Louisiana is certainly no exception.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), our state has more structurally deficient bridges based on square footage than all other states except one. Louisiana received a D from the ASCE in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card for its transportation infrastructure. Besides the structural problems with our bridges, the ASCE noted other factors, like the fact that our highway fatality rate was 35% above the national average.
Almost $6 billion is earmarked for highways, bridges throughout the state
Close to $6 billion has been allocated to Louisiana specifically for highways and bridges. It has yet to be determined how that money will be split among projects throughout the state.
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, who was one of the few congressional Republicans who supported the bill (and who was among those involved in crafting it) called it a “major victory for Louisiana and our country.” Besides the money going to roads and bridges, a considerable amount is also being allocated for other parts of the state’s infrastructure damaged by repeated storms and flooding. Sen. Cassidy noted that it “strengthens our electrical grid, adds levy protection, coastal restoration and improves flood resiliency.”
Certainly, when roads and bridges are in poor condition or when they aren’t large enough to accommodate the amount of traffic they carry, that can have a significant effect on the safety of motorists and the number of crashes that occur. However, a poor-quality road or bridge typically does not alleviate the liability of a driver who causes a crash. If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by another driver, you have the right to fight for the compensation you need for short- and long-term losses.