The COVID-19 pandemic definitely put a damper on summertime travel plans for many. If you did get out of town, you probably enjoyed a little less traffic during your travels this year. Sitting in traffic for hours is the most frustrating waste of time of modern times, so hopefully you enjoyed some relief. But don’t get used to it.
Projects to expand Louisiana’s highway system and reduce traffic make up some $20-30 billion of the state backlog. Louisiana currently has no plan to fund and construct these projects. WIthout immediate action, trust that this current dip in congestion – however long it lasts – is not the “new normal.” What we are experiencing now is just a tease. You will be stuck in traffic again, and you will be even more frustrated than you were before COVID-19.
One of the main reasons that road projects take a while to build is because of managing the heavy traffic during construction. Lighter traffic means more efficient construction. With vacation season in the rear view mirror and a modified school season upon us, traffic may stay lighter for a while longer. We should be taking advantage of this unique opportunity to build roads more quickly.
We are all looking forward to when we get beyond COVID-19. What a gift to all of us it would be to emerge from the pandemic on a path to a world class highway system that would attract a better economy than we ever had before. Instead of imagining, let’s get it done. Let’s demand lawmakers take advantage of this opportunity to rebuild Louisiana and finally fix our roads.