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"One to One" E-Newsletter

December 22, 2014

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Focusing on the Funds
 
In 2014, the LA 1 Coalition bolstered its efforts to secure innovative funding for construction of Phase 2 of the LA 1 Highway Improvement Project, representing 8.3 miles of two-lane elevated highway between Leeville and Golden Meadow. Potential funding sources are the RESTORE Act, the OCS revenue sharing program, the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER grant, and a public/private partnership between the State and industrial stakeholders.

Here's a look at some of our most recent project funding activities:


RESTORE ACT

Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet, Board member Charlotte Bollinger and Lafourche Parish Administrator Archie Chiasson updated the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) in October on the highway's increased role in serving the state as it also faces increased vulnerability. All three presenters reaffirmed the LA 1 Project’s need to receive qualifying infrastructure funds from the RESTORE Act. LA 1’s documented role as the state’s most vital link in providing environmental response along our fragile coast was noted, and the presentation stressed that Restore Act funding should be prioritized for communities like Lafourche that had the greatest impact from the 2010 spill.

MEETING WITH CONGRESSMAN SCALISE
The LA 1 Coalition’s Board of Directors met with Louisiana Congressman and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise in October to seek his support in our funding strategy to achieve construction of all three segments of Phase 2, including OCS Revenue Sharing monies and RESTORE Act dollars.  Louisiana's share from both of these sources is still not fully determined, but both could contribute to the completion of elevated LA 1.

TIGER GRANT
The Coalition expects to apply for construction funding for Segment B of Phase 2 (the middle section of this phase) as part of the federal TIGER grant process.  The LA 1 Improvement Project was recently nominated to the U.S. D.O.T. for the designation of "Project of National and Regional Significance," and the Coalition is hopeful that this designation and the project's shovel-ready classification will boost its chances of TIGER grant funding in the future.

PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
The Coalition continues to work with the State of Louisiana and industrial stakeholders on a cooperative agreement that would provide $6.6 million in private funds to match approximately $40 million in state funds for Segment C, the first leg of Phase 2 scheduled for construction. This segment crosses the South Lafourche Levee system in Golden Meadow.
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Boulet Participates in Department of Energy Public Hearing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
LA 1 Coalition Executive Director served as a panelist for a U.S. Department of Energy public hearing focused on energy infrastructure as part of that agency's Quadrennial Energy Review. The event provided an opportunity for Boulet and other Coalition members to meet with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (pictured right) and explain LA 1's role in energy security and its vulnerability.  Moniz also toured Port Fourchon during a recent trip to New Orleans.

Final Design of Segment C Progressing
In October, Design Consultant HNTB had reached 30 percent completion of final design plans for Phase 2 Segment C, located in Golden Meadow. Final plans should be complete in May 2015. From there, it typically takes about two months to gain authorization from the Federal Highway Administration for the final design, and DOTD estimates a construction letting date for Segment C in August 2015.

 
 
Achieving Design Excellence
The State conducted a “value engineering” study in October on the Phase 2 design.   Value engineering studies are done on projects costing in excess of $25 million to improve quality, minimize total ownership costs, reduce construction time, make the project easier to construct, ensure safe operations, and assure environmental and ecological goals are met. The study yielded over 30 design suggestions for DOTD to consider implementing in design and construction. The most significant cost-saving measure could save several million dollars by reducing the cost of the estimated 500,000 feet of support pilings required for the project.

Traffic on LA 1 Peaks During the Week
A recently completed traffic study on the LA 1 Corridor found that an average of 660 trucks per day travel on southbound LA 1,  for an average of 1320 truck trips per day round trip.  Highest traffic counts are on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
State Legislators Tour LA 1 Corridor
The Coalition and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (GLPC) co-hosted a tour of LA 1 and Port Fourchon for members of the Louisiana Joint State Transportation Committee on October 29.  LOOP, GLPC and the Coalition updated legislators on the economic role of LOOP, LA 1 and the port. Officials attending included Committee Chair Rep. Karen St. Germain, Rep. Dorothy Hill, Rep. Terry Brown, Rep. Dalton Honoree and host Rep. Jerry Gisclair.
LA 1 Project Touted for Resiliency and Hazard Mitigation

LA 1 and the LA 1 Improvement Project's resilient design were positively cited by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GOA) for their critical importance to the nation in U.S. G.O.A. testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. The hearing earlier this year focused on extreme weather events, limiting federal fiscal exposure and increasing the nation’s resilience.
 
Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet is contributing to an update of the Lafourche Parish Hazard Mitigation Plan that will document for FEMA the vulnerability and economic importance of the highway, and the replacement
cost if the highway is lost. He also participated in the development of Lafourche Parish's Strategic Plan, which identifies elevating lower LA 1 as a critical infrastructure priority.

A recent economic impact study conducted on Port Fourchon highlights why the sole highway access to the port - LA 1 - must be secured. According to the study, industry at Port Fourchon accounted for over $2.8 billion in sales revenue and  over $650 million in household earnings in 2013.  In addition, according the the Lafourche Parish Assessor's Office, 53 percent of total parish property tax collections comes from Port Fourchon.

Spreading the Word About the LA 1 Project
 
The Coalition hosted a tour of Port Fourchon and fly-in at an offshore production facility for Louisiana Secretary of Economic Development Stephen Moret.   The event also featured updates from Coalition Executive Director Henri Boulet and Greater Lafourche Port Commission Executive Director Chett Chiasson, and a discussion lead by industry representatives on the growth that they anticipate in the Gulf.

The Coalition hosted a federal stakeholder event in Washington, D.C. this summer to thank Congressional members and staff for their support of the LA 1 Project and update them on the project's progress and continued funding needs.

The Coalition had an exhibit at the Deepwater Technical Conference and Boulet presented to the American Association of Drilling Engineers, Gulf Coast Regulatory and Environmental Action Group, Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association, and the Desk and Derrick Club of New Orleans. He also participated in the Infrastructure Intersection Summit as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce "Let's Rebuild America" program.

 
WELCOME TO OUR
NEWEST COALITION MEMBERS!

BHP Billiton
Fieldwood Energy
Hess Corporation
Kelly, Hart & Pitre
Lafarge
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Noble Energy
Schlumberger
Statoil
United Vision Logistics
Weatherford

We thank you and all of our members
for your support!
 
About the Coalition

The LA 1 Coalition is organized for coordinating, providing, and disseminating public information in relation to improving the highway system between Grand Isle and U.S. Highway 90.  
The LA 1 Coalition is a 501(c)(4) organization.   Donations are not tax deductible. 
The LA 1 Coalition is located within the offices of the South Louisiana Economic Council on the campus of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA.   Executive Director is Henri Boulet.

Website:     www.LA1Coalition.org

Phone:         (985) 448-4485

Email:         Henri@LA1Coalition.org

Address:    P.O. Box 2048-NSU, Thibodaux, LA 70310
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