WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), and Doug Jones (D-AL) introduced the BE SAFE ACT of 2019 to improve emergency evacuation routes in rural areas by creating an up to $100 million competitive grant program for work on roads and bridges.
The legislation directs the Secretary of Transportation to establish the program for projects that would improve emergency evacuation routes though the construction of state and local connector roads that facilitate access to broader thoroughfares, and the improvement or expansion of existing roads and bridges.
“When a hurricane evacuation is declared, hours can mean the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This legislation keeps Louisiana families safe, giving rural communities the resources needed to improve evacuation routes and save lives.”
“Louisianans need reliable routes to get out of harm’s way when a natural disaster like a hurricane approaches. We all know how bad Louisiana’s bridges and roads are. Our infrastructure has been sadly neglected,” said Senator Kennedy. “Rather than forcing rural and small communities to wait for the state’s investment, this legislation will empower them to improve evacuation routes. This will be a huge help to residents in financially challenged communities.”
“Alabamians know all too well that extreme weather can strike at any time – especially now with hurricane season upon us,” said Senator Jones. “And while it is crucial that communities get the disaster relief they need after the fact, it is important that folks can better prepare for natural disasters and to help make our communities safer so we can reduce the impact and cost of inevitable severe weather. This bill will help make Alabamians safer, while also improving our aging roadways in rural communities that badly need infrastructure investment.”