Federal Study: Loss of LA Highway 1 Could Result in National Economic Losses Up to $7.8 Billion
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) study released yesterday confirms the national economic significance of Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) in southern Lafourche Parish, and fortifies the need for a continuous, secure elevated highway from Golden Meadow, LA, to the energy hub of Port Fourchon, LA.
The report, entitled Louisiana Highway 1/Port Fourchon Study, concludes that a 90-day closure of 7.1 miles along the existing at-grade LA Highway 1 and a 90-day closure of Port Fourchon as a result of this loss of highway access could result in a reduction of up to $7.8 billion in American gross domestic product. Domestic oil and gas production would also be significantly impacted for a period of ten years following such a closure. The National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC) of the United States Department of Homeland Security and the National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute at University of Louisiana at Lafayette collaborated on the study.
“Finally, our federal government is officially acknowledging the immense value of this vulnerable highway to the national economy and our national energy supply,” says LA 1 Coalition Chairman Ted Falgout. “This credible national study provides very compelling reasons why the federal government should invest in construction of an elevated highway from Golden Meadow to Leeville, providing a continuous 19-mile secure highway route to Port Fourchon.”
Since 2005, the vulnerable two-lane LA Highway 1 from Golden Meadow to Leeville, LA, has been overtopped by storm surge and closed to traffic for 23 days collectively. It is the only road to Port Fourchon, which services over 90 percent of deepwater energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and supports 16% of this nation’s energy. Mean Sea Level Rise will cause LA 1 road closures of 90 or more consecutive days per year by the late 2030′s, and a powerful storm could result in a 90-day outage even earlier.
A proposed nine-mile elevated highway between Golden Meadow and Leeville costing $320 million, known as Phase 2 of the LA 1 Improvement Project, would replace the vulnerable highway section evaluated in the NISAC/NIMSAT study.
Additional details from the study can be found at www.LA1Coalition.org.
Henri Boulet, Executive Director
985.258.1399 / firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE LA 1 Coalition