By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany news bureau
COVINGTON – It may not matter how much growth St. Tammany Parish officials are expecting here in coming years, the top state highway official in Louisiana made it clear that funding to alleviate growing traffic problems will be harder than ever to obtain.
Parish President Pat Brister held a press conference for the media with Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Dr. Shawn Wilson on the North Shore to answer questions.
Wilson updated a handful of parish road projects and discussed other projects that are tentatively scheduled, but his message was loud and clear: Louisiana is woefully short of funding needed for road projects, and the future looks worse.
Wilson didn’t hedge on the topic of increasing the state gas tax, something the Louisiana Legislature considered this past session as one solution to budget deficits over $500 million.
By the end of the session a proposed increase of 17 cents a gallon was reduced, then dropped when the necessary two-thirds vote w