Funding is now complete for the I-49 North extension to the Arkansas border. Thursday afternoon, Governor Bobby Jindal was in Shreveport to sign House Bill 370 to secure that funding for the interstate construction.
The final two segments of I-49 have the funding to extend from Martin Luther King Blvd. to the Arkansas border. Nine of the eleven segments were already completely funded, so this bill ensures the money for the final two segments. "Some of those segments are already completed. Other segments will be done no later than 2013," said Jindal. "These final two segments will be done no later than 2016."
Some people say that construction has been a long-time coming. Carol Watson, who frequently travels through north Caddo Parish said it has been long overdue. "I'm glad to see it being done, and I intend on using it as soon as it's completed."
I-49 will eventually connect Shreveport and the rest of Louisiana with Arkansas and the Midwest to help increase commerce between the regions. Jindal expects industries like trucking, the ports, the regional airport and railway companies will all benefit from the completion of this road project.
Economists estimate this extension will pump millions of dollars into our economy, and the safety of motorists traveling in north Caddo Parish will also improve. An estimated 37,000 vehicles are expected to travel I-49 North each day upon completion. Many of those motorists moving from two-lane state highways to the multi-lane interstate.
As Louisiana plans to complete this section of the interstate, Jindal hopes other states will follow suit. "Here's my challenge to those other governors in other states: We're doing our part. Now it's your time, your turn to do your part as well. Let's get I-49 done across the entire nation."