ALEXANDRIA – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) spoke to the North Rapides Business and Industry Alliance, a group of business leaders and other citizens seeking to improve Central Louisiana. Cassidy spoke on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which is yielding great benefits for Central Louisiana.
“I enjoyed the conversation with the North Rapides Business and Industry Association,” said Dr. Cassidy. “These are among those that are working to make Central Louisiana more prosperous. I was able to speak about the advantages of the bipartisan infrastructure bill to help them achieve their goals. It is local leadership matching up with federal resources.
The IIJA authorized the I-14 corridor, which will run from Georgia to Texas and include stops in Alexandria and Leesville, bringing commuters through the region, and an economic boon for nearby businesses. $65 billion nationwide will be invested in rural broadband, connecting tens of thousands of Louisiana residents to high-speed Internet.
Meanwhile, benefits from the IIJA have already come to Central Louisiana. In January, it was announced that the LA 121 over the Calcasieu River bridge project would receive funding from the bill. $700,000 was granted to the Alexandria International Airport for replacing their air traffic control equipment, on top of the $1.6 million they received last December.
Cassidy was welcomed by Mr. Michael Johnson, State Representative and President of the North Rapides Business and Industry Alliance.
“NRBIA is a non-political organization that brings business and community leaders together to share information and engage in discussions of various issues of interest to our community,” said Rep. Johnson. “We appreciate Senator Cassidy for speaking to our group and allowing us to ask questions and voice our thoughts and opinions to him.”
Earlier, Cassidy visited the Central Louisiana Regional Port, to discuss how the IIJA can improve the port’s operations. The Central Louisiana Regional Port is a major hub on the Red River for the shipment of goods to regional, national and international markets. It’s current economic value exceeds over 2,000 indirect and direct jobs.
While there, Cassidy was joined by Mr. Ben Russo, the Executive Director for the Central Louisiana Regional Port.
“We appreciate Senator Cassidy meeting with us today,” said Mr. Russo. “It is always great when we are able to meet and discuss the opportunities and challenges affecting our port partners, as well as ways to increase the effectiveness of Central Louisiana’s preeminent maritime facility.”
Cassidy also met the leadership of Crest Industries and their subsidiary DIS-TRAN Package Substations, one of the businesses based at the port. Crest Industries is a leader in strengthening our electric grid and renewable energy.
“Central Louisiana’s future depends upon upgrading infrastructure and having a strategic vision,” said Cassidy. “Speaking with folks at Crest, at the port, and with LSUA, there is this vision. And where there’s vision, there can be optimism.”