LRN PM Newscall July 26

Senator Bill Cassidy is urging Louisianans with passport issues to reach out to his office. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (30)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.” 


The DOTD announces tolls will be needed to fund a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles and  the Louisiana Motor Transport Association opposes the use of tolls. Jeff Palermo has more…

Cut 2 (31)  “….I’m Jeff Palermo”  


Despite claims of hiring more staff and authorizing overtime, the State Department is still behind in issuing passports. US Senator Bill Cassidy says his office has received numerous calls from Louisiana residents who’ve missed vacations despite applying in advance and paying extra fees to expedite the process.

Cut 3 (06) “…situation.” 

Cassidy says his office in Baton Rouge has been successful in helping individuals with the passport process and he encourages Louisianans to contact his local office if they are having difficulty.

Cut 4 (07)  “…resolve this.” 

The State Department reportedly receives 400,000 applications a week and says the delays are a result of the pandemic and renewed interest in international travel. Cassidy says several families and individuals have been forced to forgo their travel because their passports did not arrive in time and the results are costly.

Cut 5 (07)  “…go on.”

Cassidy urges those with passport issues to call his office in Baton Rouge at 225-929-7711.


The Louisiana Motor Transport Association strongly opposes the state department of transportation’s proposal to use tolls to fund a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge. DOTD says the new bridge will cost $2.1 billion and there’s only 800-million dollars in state and federal funds available, but L-M-T-A Director Renee Amar says legislators can do more…

Cut 6 (11)  “to fund it” 

Amar says existing gasoline taxes are meant to fund DOTD projects, and nowhere else on I-10 from Florida to California is the interstate tolled. She says discussions of the project began years ago with an $800 million budget. The project now has a price tag of over two billion dollars. Amar says the bridge does not have to be that expensive…

Cut 7 (07)  “…much smaller” 

DOTD says its entering negotiations with Calcasieu Bridge Partners, who will manage and oversee construction, maintenance and operations of the new bridge. The state says the new bridge will be lower than the existing one, with more lanes, full shoulders and have roadway lighting.

The Joint Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet in the coming weeks to review and approve the project. Amar says this committee can stop the toll from being implemented…

Cut 8 (12)  “…vote it down” 


Governor John Bel Edwards spoke before the U-S Senate Budget committee today to discuss the financial impacts of climate change on infrastructure. Edwards says the state’s coastal master plan seeks to reduce damage from rising sea levels, coastal land loss and weather events…

Cut 9 (13)  “….today”

Edwards says the 14 billion dollars spent on improved levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina is an example of how significant government investment can prevent damage to homes and businesses.  He says the levees held up well to Hurricane Ida in 2021. He says more flood control projects like this are needed…

Cut 10 (11)  “…over time.”

Edwards used his appearance before the Senate Budget Committee to push for the passage of the RISEE Act.  The governor says the legislation would result in the state receiving more federal dollars for energy production that takes place in federal waters off of Louisiana’s coast. He says currently the state is not receiving a fair share

Cut 11 (10)  “…Port Fourchon.”