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Sunday, July 14, 2019

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Local entities submit proposal for airport corridor

Local entities submit proposal for airport corridor

Officials with the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and Lafourche Parish Government are hoping that the third time is a charm when it comes to applying and receiving a grant for construction of a new lift bridge over Bayou Lafourche.

The bridge would cross the bayou south of the bridge near St. Joseph Catholic Church in Galliano.

The “Tiger” grant, as it is so called by the United States government, is an acronym for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery. Should the parish and port receive it, the estimated $16 million, along with another $19 in local commitments, would go towards the construction of a three-lane lift bridge built at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 308 and the Leonard Miller, Jr. airport access road as well as a nearly half mile connector road connecting the aforementioned bridge with Louisiana Highway 3235.

This specific grant program is expected to end at the conclusion of the Obama presidency and local officials believe it’s the last round of funding to be doled out of this program.

“We like our chances, but if we’re not successful we will try another angle,” said Chett Chaisson, Executive Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission. “We’ve heard nothing but positive things about the project from federal officials so we’re giving it another shot.”

Supporters are hoping the grant comes through so that some 1,200 acres along the corridor can be developed as an industrial park. Some 10,000 passengers now fly into and out of the Galliano airport on a monthly basis.

Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle said the eventual project will be a boon to the local economy as it will give greater access to a corridor that is expecting to see growth in the future.

“Once that bridge and connector road to the four lane is completed, workers, visitors as well as commerce will have a straight shot from the Galliano airport to the four lane highway and all points from there. It will serve as a boost for development of the airport corridor which will lead to new businesses and jobs for the area,” he said.

Chaisson said that the decision on the grant is expected sometime in the fall.