Ruston, Louisiana Awarded BUILD Grant from U.S. Department of Transportation
The City of Ruston is excited to announce that Ruston has been awarded $17,191,530 through the BUILD Grant Program offered through the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Through a strategic partnership between the City of Ruston and Louisiana Tech University, this grant will ensure infrastructure can meet current needs, as well as prepare for the continued growth well into the 21st Century.
According to the DOT website, the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant program, provides an opportunity for the DOT to invest in infrastructure projects that promise to achieve national objectives. The BUILD program enables DOT to use a rigorous merit-based process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make needed investments in our Nation's infrastructure.
In competition with hundreds of other applications, Ruston along with Louisiana Tech University, were awarded the funding based on the merit and scope of the application. According to program guidelines, special consideration was given to projects which emphasized improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness.
Some of the highlights of the Ruston BUILD Grant application consist of the following:
- The purpose of this project is to provide a safe, efficient, and reliable route to both Downtown Ruston and the Louisiana Tech campus.
- The project will construct a new two lane road to connect the I-20 corridor to Downtown Ruston, as well as, connectors to and through the Louisiana Tech University Enterprise Campus
- The project will construct new roadways, rebuild deteriorating roads, replace pedestrian paths with ADA compliant infrastructure, add bike paths, improve drainage to reduce flooding, and relocate overhead utilities underground.
- The project will also utilize proprietary technology developed on Louisiana Tech University’s Enterprise Campus to create the Smart Cities Innovation Testbed, which will help mitigate the effects of natural disasters and provide real-time data on traffic, weather, and parking.
Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University, stated, “This transformative project will connect the Louisiana Tech campus to the City of Ruston and improve the quality of life for Tech students and all Ruston residents. In developing the core of the Louisiana Tech campus in partnership with the city, we are creating an environment that supports our joint ambitious economic development goals for the area. We are grateful to Mayor Walker for his tremendous leadership and commitment to achieving these goals and appreciate the exceptional support of our federal and state leaders.”
The City of Ruston would like to thank everyone for their support of this BUILD Grant application. Mayor Ronny Walker would like to thank Senator John Kennedy, Senator Bill Cassidy, Representative Steve Scalise, Representative Ralph Abraham, Representative Mike Johnson, DOT Secretary Elaine Chao, Governor John Bel Edwards, and LA DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson.
“This grant award is an essential piece of the City of Ruston’s long-term goal to be one of the most innovative communities in the region. This would not have been possible without the support of our entire Congressional Delegation, City of Ruston employees, especially Andrew Halbrook and Adam Terry who took the lead on this project, or our long-time community supporter and Louisiana Tech University advocate, James Davison,” said Mayor Walker.