When you look at that figure $700 million you might think "that's a lot of money if you want to fix roads". Or you might think "we could get a pretty good linebacker for that kind of dough". It's all about priorities. Granted there are no $700 million athletes yet, there are also some pretty scary roads in our state too.

The Transportation Task Force has released their final report in a study of how to improve Louisiana's transportation infrastructure. The way the task force sees it an annual investment of $700 million would help get the state on a better path to better roads, bridges, and an improved infrastructure.

DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says funding is great big elephant in the room.

We’ve suggested that a gas tax increase of some amount has to be a part of whatever the solution is. We suggested looking at permit fees for commercial vehicles.

Another means of funding roadway projects could be a cooperative effort between the state and private companies. In other words, toll roads and bridges. If you think about the I-10 Bridge over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles or the Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge as examples a few bucks for a better and safer trip might not be that bad of an investment.

The transportation challenges in this state did not come overnight, nor will a solution. But we have to right the ship and begin implementing sustainable best practices and policies that have worked all around the country

Wilson made his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network.

He went on to say that addressing the $13 billion backlog of transportation projects across the state will have to be dealt with in some way if we're going to have safe and reliable roadways and bridges. His hope, along with the task force's hope is that a special session of the legislature called by Governer Edwards could start the ball rolling.

We’re just excited about the opportunity to offer solutions and look forward to a very robust conversation with the legislature as we address the overall budget conditions.