BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A special panel is about to launch a study of ways to boost state aid for Louisiana's often-criticized road and bridge system.

The Transportation Funding Task Force, which includes legislative leaders and others, was authorized by the Legislature earlier this year and is set to hold its first public hearing on Sept. 10 in Baton Rouge.

State Rep. Karen St. Germain, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee and a member of the panel, says unlike previous road funding studies and bills that went nowhere, this one comes amid a widespread public outcry about road conditions.

The Advocate reports there is a $12 billion backlog of road and bridge needs.

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