WHEREAS, Louisiana Highway 1 (hereafter "LA 1"), a 2-lane highway with sections which are impassable during inclement weather, is vital to the economic vitality and safety of the citizens of Louisiana who live near and/or work in the region of LA 1 between Port Fourchon/Grand Isle and Alexandria (hereafter "the region");
WHEREAS, the citizens of Louisiana who live and/or work in the region, especially those in the vicinity of Grand Isle, Port Fourchon, and Raceland, are dependent on LA 1 remaining open and passable for safe and expeditious evacuations during the threat of a hurricane and/or a tropical storm;
WHEREAS, the state of Louisiana's goals for the twenty-first century include developing a transportation infrastructure in the region that will safely and adequately support an increase in traffic volume resulting from emergency situations and/or economic growth and development;
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Highway 1 Project Task Force was created by executive order and charged with the duty of 1) analyzing the feasibility of upgrading, from a 2-lane to a 4-lane highway or an interstate, the section of LA 1 between the region; and 2) evaluating the impact that such an upgrade would have on the citizens of the state of Louisiana, especially those citizens who live and/or work in region; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of the state of Louisiana would be best served by the continuation of the Louisiana Highway 1 Project Task Force;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Louisiana Highway 1 Project Task Force (hereafter "Task Force") is reestablished within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Evaluating the progress made of upgrading, from a 2-lane highway to a 4-lane highway or an interstate, the section of LA 1 (including Louisiana Highway 3090) that is located in the region (hereafter "LA 1 Project");
B. Analyzing the progress made and the means to provide adequate funding for the LA 1 Project, including the availability of state and/or federal funding sources and innovative financing alternatives; and
C. Evaluating and documenting the progress made for the level of citizen support for the LA 1 Project by: 1) the citizens of the state of Louisiana, in the region and statewide; 2) the municipalities, communities and parishes in the region and statewide; and 3) the members of the Louisiana Legislature from the region and statewide;
SECTION 3: The Task Force shall meet quarterly, and at the call of the chair.
SECTION 4: Annually, on January 15, the Task Force shall submit a written comprehensive report to the Governor, the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works, and the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works on its findings and/or conclusions which address the issues set forth in Section 2 of this Order.
SECTION 5: The Task Force shall be composed of a maximum of twenty-four (24) members appointed by and serving at the pleasure of the governor. The membership of the Task Force shall be selected as follows:
A. The governor, or the governor's designee;
B. The secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development, or the secretary's designee;
C. The commissioner of administration, or the commissioner's designee;
D. The chair of the House Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works, or the chair's designee;
E. The chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works, or the chair's designee;
F. The Federal Highway Administrator for the state of Louisiana, or the Federal Highway Administrator's designee;
G. Citizens of the state of Louisiana who reside in a community in the region;
H. Representatives of businesses and/or industries that are located in the region; and
I. Five (5) at-large members.
SECTION 6: The governor shall appoint the chair from the membership of the Task Force. All other officers, if any, shall be elected by the Task Force from its membership.
SECTION 7: A. Task Force members shall not receive additional compensation or a per diem from the Office of the Governor for serving on the Task Force.
B. Task Force members who are employees or elected public officials of the state of Louisiana or a political subdivision thereof may seek reimbursement of travel expenses, in accordance with PPM 49, from their employing and/or elected department, agency and/or office.
C. Task Force members who are also members of the Louisiana Legislature may seek a per diem from the Louisiana State Senate or House of Representatives, as appropriate, for their attendance.
SECTION 7: Support staff, facilities, and resources for the Task Force shall be provided by the Department of Transportation and Development.
SECTION 8: All departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the state of Louisiana, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 9: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 20th day of August, 2004.
Katheen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State