U.S. Rep. Troy A. Carter Sr., recently concluded the first installment of his districtwide ‘Building a Better Louisiana Infrastructure Tour’ to highlight the impact that investments from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Acts (IIJA) will bring to Louisiana’s Second Congressional District. 

During his four events, he highlighted $41.6 million for the IWGO Green Bridge in New Orleans East, $30 million for the Gramercy Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting St. James and St. John the Baptist Parish, $108 billion for public transportation investments nationwide, up to $102 billion for passenger rail projects nationwide, and $110 million in annual funding for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) through 2025.

At these events, Carter was joined by dozens of public officials from the state and local levels. 

Based on data from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, there are at least 10 bridges and 41 roadway improvement projects in the Second Congressional district that, without funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, would not have been sure to have been slated for action in 2022. These projects represent a total investment of at least $335.5 million for road and bridge projects that are scheduled for bids in 2022. In all, Louisiana can expect at least $7 billion in investments from the Infrastructure Law. 

Congressman Carter will continue his announcements and celebrations of projects that Infrastructure Law will bring to the region in 2022. The state’s second congressional district is Louisiana’sonly majority Black congressional district and encompasses much of New Orleans before stretching west and north to include Jefferson, St. Charles. Ascension, Assumption Iberville, St. John the Baptist, St. James, East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes.

The IIJA will invest $30 million for the Gramercy Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting St. James and St. John the Baptist Parish.

Focus on Minority Businesses

U.S. Rep Carter and other leaders are not only the infrastructure improvements that the IIJA will bring to the area, but are also excited about the additional funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

“By passing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, President Biden and Congress are recognizing the role minority-owned businesses play in building a stronger and more equitable economy, and investing in their long-term success,” said Congressman Carter. “We need economic development that lifts all boats, and that’s why the Infrastructure Law makes the MBDA a permanent part of the Department of Commerce and more than doubles its previous yearly budget. This long-term investment will allow the agency to expand, innovate, create partnerships and reach more people. Historically, minority-owned businesses have been systemically excluded from securing lucrative contracts for infrastructure work. The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act also includes provisions to give our minority-owned and local businesses an opportunity to participate in the rebuilding of their communities.” 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, “For too long, we’ve neglected investments in critical areas that directly impact American workers, American businesses, and American families. One historic achievement in this bill is the codification of the Minority Business Development Agency at the Department of Commerce, which is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the economic development of minority businesses.” 

The IIJA also doubles the budget of the Minority Business Development Agency and makes it a permanent agency

“I am glad that Congressman Troy Carter is highlighting these important provisions within the bipartisan Infrastructure Law and their positive impacts on the people and businesses of southeast Louisiana,” said Miguel Estien, MBDA’s acting national director. “This law elevates the status of the Minority Business Development Agency, making it permanent. This is a very, very exciting time for MBDA and all minority businesses. Let me put the importance of this legislation in perspective. Empowered with permanent Agency status, the MBDA will have a substantial enhancement of delivery capabilities with respect to every service we provide. These monumental changes at MBDA will in turn open more doors, shatter glass walls and ceilings . . . and properly position the MBDA to play a major role in leveling the business playing field.”

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