I 49 – Toll Or Free? Where Did The Money Go?
Once again talk of completing I-49 from Lafayette to New Orleans turns to tolls to pay for it. I really would not mind paying to use I-49 because anything beats driving I-10 through Baton Rouge.
The question that I want answered before I pay a toll is, where did all the oil revenues go? Since I was a child I can remember it being said that Louisiana oil was making the state prosperous. If we were so prosperous I want to know why roads were not built to last. Especially through the Edwards years it seems like you could not hear a newscast or read a paper without some mention of oil revenue. Did we waste the money on useless projects, hire countless unneeded state employees or did we line the pockets of a few officials?
It may be too late to worry about past revenue because we'll never get it back and by now the money has been laundered so much there's no ink left on the paper. We need to be more diligent in protecting our state's coffers. We need to eliminate fraud and corruption in all areas of government so we are not having to rob Peter to pay Paul. The money has to be accounted for and protected as if the life of our state depends on it because it does!
Study of the possible completion of I-49 has cost millions and delays keep piling traffic on to I-10 in ever growing volume. It's time we start bidding I-49 out, build it and watch over construction to insure it doesn't fall apart on one end before it's completed on the other.
If we diligently watch over construction to insure structural integrity in design and integrity of the contractors then I would be willing to pay a toll to drive to New Orleans. Otherwise resurface what we have now and I'll drive that til I die. It's still faster and safer than going through Baton Rouge.