DOTD Breaks Ground for Construction of LA1 Bridge to Port Fourchon

(GALLIANO, LA, MARCH 28, 2006) – Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry, U.S. Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter, U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon, and a large group of state and local officials were on hand to break ground Friday afternoon for a new LA 1 bridge at Leeville and approaches that will ensure a safe evacuation route for citizens and continued vitality of Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry at Port Fourchon.

The governor’s prepared statement said, “The ravages of Katrina and Rita showed everyone in America the importance of Louisiana to this nation’s economic health, and just how important LA 1 is to the energy economy. LA 1 is not only the hurricane evacuation route for Grand Isle and southern Lafourche Parish, it’s also the main route for Louisiana’s vital energy corridor.

“This project is just the first step in a long-term effort to help make the residents of this part of South Louisiana safer and to secure our state’s – and the nation’s – energy future.”

LA 1 is the sole evacuation route for lower Lafourche Parish and the barrier island of Grand Isle. It also is the only route to Port Fourchon, the nation’s premier intermodal energy port, and to the nation’s only offshore oil port, LOOP. The U.S. Congress designated LA 1 as a “high-priority corridor” because of its role as critical energy infrastructure.

The road must be replaced and elevated because of flooding and deterioration from subsidence and coastal erosion.

Bradberry said, “If you take all the reasons to build a road or a bridge and stack them together, they all add up to LA 1 – economic development, hurricane evacuation, quality of life, ease of mobility, even national security issues. It’s hard to imagine a more important project to Louisiana than LA 1.”

Henri Boulet, executive director of the LA 1 Coalition, which has worked for more than nine years in support of improvements to La. 1, welcomed over 200 guests to the event. Boulet acknowledged the tremendous effort put forth by the local community stating “Our community and our state can be proud of nine years of diligent work, and a multi-million dollar effort that private donors and our state have put forth to tell the nation of the needs, and the benefits, of the LA 1 energy corridor.”

Other speakers at the program included Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, Louisiana State Senator Reggie Dupre, Louisiana State Representative Loulan Pitre, and Greater Lafourche Port Commission Executive Director Ted Falgout. Falgout currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the LA 1 Coalition.