Shared from the 2/17/2019 American Press eEdition

Team has viable bridge solution

In regard to the well-crafted Jan. 27, 2019, letter to the editor by the I-10 Bridge Task Force: First, I personally would like to thank every member for your sacrifice in researching and proposing a solution to our area’s single most critical issue. Well done!

Jim Beam’s view delivered the same day was disappointing, to say the least. With a cursory acknowledgement of the work the task force has done, he launched into his second expression of the need for an additional gasoline tax. It is disappointing that with the platform Mr. Beam has, he feels it more important to cheer Gov. John Bell Edwards’ tax plan rather than a solution to one of the most critical problems in Southwest Louisiana.

Mr. Beam ignored and left out some of the facts in the task force report. The state has already pledged what little money we have to New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. What Mr. Beam called “other more acceptable ways to build a bridge” is addressed by the facts stated in the task force report. Example DOTD has pledged 12 years of federal matching funds, DOTD has a backlog of more than $13 billion, the gas tax will not generate enough money to build the bridge and the state will not earmark any money it generates for this bridge, etc. Why would anyone in Southwest Louisiana want to pay more to get nothing but expensive Band-Aids to our problems and finance more New Orleans and Baton Rouge improvements?

In my opinion, when private citizens spend their own time and money to research and forward a proposal to fix a critical problem, the voters of Southwest Louisiana need to make it an election issue. The task force solution pays for the bridge with money that comes from the people that use it. Most of them are from out-of-state.

Read the task force report before you form a conclusion, and then do something. With action on the task force proposal you have a bridge in three to five years. Waiting on Baton Rouge could mean two more generations of delay or a bridge failure.

K.W. Nabours


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