The first installment of a plan to increase state aid to roads and bridges by up to $636 million over five years has been shelved because of Louisiana’s budget problems, officials said Tuesday. The plan won legislative approval in March. Backers called it a key step in making a dent in the state’s $14 billion backlog of road and bridge needs.
Under the bill, the state is supposed to gradually transfer car and truck sales tax revenue. It would go from general revenue, which finances a wide array of services, to a fund for transportation only, mostly roads and bridges.
The transfers were initially scheduled to total $636 million over five years and reach $320 million per year in seven years. But the sudden downturn in state revenue collections has canceled plans to transfer the first installment this year.