Follow Louisiana’s bridge,
road improvements online

To keep updated on Louisiana’s largest transportation improvement program ever, take a ride on the Information Superhighway.

Louisiana is in the midst of a massive $4.7 billion initiative, called the TIMED Program, that includes 16 transportation projects ranging from bridge building to highway widening. With so many projects underway, the state has launched a number of Web sites and Internet blogs to keep residents and travelers updated on where construction is taking place.

The TIMED Program, which stands for Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development, was created by legislation in 1989 and is funded by a dedicated four-cents-per-gallon gasoline and special fuels tax. The projects include four-laning 536 miles of state highways, widening and/or new construction on three major bridges and improvements to both the Port of New Orleans and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

To learn about all the projects, visit The program also maintains Web sites on the three bridge projects for those interested in more specific details about the widening of the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish (, the new construction of the John James Audubon Mississippi River Bridge just north of Baton Rouge (www.audubon and the new construction of the Florida Avenue Bridge at the Industrial Canal in New Orleans East (www.florida

Visitors to the TIMED Web sites can find fact sheets on the projects, construction Web cams, a photo gallery, bridge animations and computer generated renderings, interactive maps, reports on traffic conditions and more. Visitors can also sign up to receive quarterly newsletters and updates.

The newest addition to the Web sites are blogs, or Web logs, which are Internet journals written in a conversational style. Readers are encouraged to post comments and questions to spur future entries.

“Blogs are a great tool for us to communicate with the public in a very casual, non-technical way and really help residents identify and understand our projects,” said Dana Newsome, TIMED communications director. “Blogs are posted at least once weekly on the TIMED program in general, the Huey P. Long Bridge widening and the new Audubon Bridge construction, and all blogs link from our Web site home pages.”

For details about the program, call the Public Outreach Office at 1-866-846-3352, or visit

Published Jan/Feb 2007

The Huey P. Long Bridge widening project, which is underway in Jefferson Parish, will add another lane and inside and outside shoulders to each side of the bridge. TIMED Program photo

David Ragan gets the keys to AAA race car

David Ragan’s father once owned an auto repair shop and was a AAA towing provider in Georgia, so when Roush Racing selected Ragan to drive the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion in 2007, it was a family affair.

Ragan will take over the reigns from Mark Martin, who drove the No. 6 car during AAA’s inaugural NASCAR season. Martin had a successful run, finishing ninth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. After the end of the 2006 season, Martin left Roush to pursue other racing plans, while Ragan began his Nextel Cup career.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to racing on behalf of AAA’s millions of loyal members in 2007,” Ragan said. “Obviously, I’ve got big shoes to fill and quite a legacy to follow, but I look forward to the challenge and the next chapter of the No. 6 race team.”

Last season, Ragan shared the No. 6 Scotts Ford F-150 with Martin and he also piloted the No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150 in the Craftsman Truck Series. Ragan had six top-10 finishes in the truck series in 2006.

The flagship No. 6 has been the foundation of the Roush Racing stable, dating back to Jack Roush’s beginnings in NASCAR’s premier series in 1988. Ragan made several starts in the Nextel Cup Series in 2006, and he’ll make his first start in the No. 6 Ford at this year’s Daytona 500 on Feb. 18.

“We are very pleased to have David Ragan going into the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion next season,” Roush said. “David is a driver with outstanding talent and as a result of his actions he is the young man I selected to fill the seat. The No. 6 is obviously a special car to me personally and this organization and we are confident in David’s ability to step up and get the job done.”

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