Approximately 62 percent of Louisiana’s state roads are considered mediocre or poor, and the state’s roads are considered the worst among 13 states. Nevertheless, the question of whether or not a special state panel will actually recommend sweeping or modest highway fixes remains unanswered.
According to former state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) secretary Kam Mavassaghi, the state needs $2.7 billion to tackle structurally deficient bridges. Louisiana ranks 44th among all states because of the high rates of highway fatalities. The state also has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation.
A total of four meetings have been set up by a task force to tackle this problem, including how to come up with the $70 million needed per year for road and bridge upkeep. Funding for roads and bridges has ranged between 23 and 25 percent in the past five years. Unfortunately, finding the money needed now is much more difficult.
According to Sherri LeBas, the current DOTD secretary, the state has spent more than $6 billion since 2008 on road and bridge improvements. Those funds were used to add lanes to Interstate 10 and 11-12 in the Baton Rouge area. Unfortunately, when the roads are in such terrible conditions, these additions have a minimal affect.
“The problem is transportation cannot be fixed in one or two years,” Mavassaghu said in an interview with The Advocate. “And it requires a consistent approach, a consistent philosophy.”
Poor roads are not only a nuisance, they’re also costing consumers some money. Continuously running over potholes can lead to misalignments and damage to a vehicle’s shocks and struts. Crumbling pavement can lead to suspension problems as well as tire blowouts, which is a common cause of motor vehicle accidents.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by bad roads, the car accident attorneys at Simien & Simien can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.