SHREVEPORT – Today [ Thursday ] , Governor Bobby Jindal traveled to Shreveport to announce $44 million in capital outlay funding to complete another segment of I-49 North. The funding will go towards completing the next segment of I-49 North – a three-mile stretch from US 71S to LA 170. The Governor emphasized his administration’s continued commitment to completing I-49 North. Governor Jindal said, “We’re now yet another step closer to the completion of this vital roadway. This investment shows our strong commitment to finishing this project so that we can continue to move Louisiana forward. Our continued investment in I-49 North shows that we are not waiting on the federal government and instead, we’re taking immediate action on this critical roadway. Investing in our roads – especially I-49 North – is critical for both economic development and hurricane evacuation. When we invest in our roads – we invest in our people and the future of Louisiana families.” When the three-mile stretch is finished, it will connect I-49 from the Arkansas line all the way until LA-1, which is over 31 miles. The $44 million in funding is made up of $7.5 million appropriated from the Unclaimed Property Fund, $10.5 million in Priority 2 – or new cash funding, and $26 million in Priority 5 funds. Since Governor Jindal entered office in 2008, he has obligated around $318 million in federal, state and local funds for I-49 North. In 2009 alone, Governor Jindal invested over $84 million in I-49 North through the unclaimed property fund, surplus dollars and stimulus funds. Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover said, "The people of Shreveport have been waiting a long time for the completion of I-49 North - and Im happy that Governor Jindal realizes the importance of this project to our region and the state. With our booming movie and tourism industries along with our booming natural gas sector, the completion of this road would mean more jobs and more opportunities for our community. With this commitment of additional funding from the state – we’re that much closer to providing our people with even more infrastructure for growing their businesses as well as providing the rest of the nation with even greater access to Shreveport.” Senator Sherri Smith Cheek said, "With this commitment of state dollars – were closer than ever before to completing the I-49 North project. This critical investment by the Jindal administration paves the way toward greater economic development for our region and better access to our state for commerce and tourism.” I-49 Taskforce Member and State Representative Jane Smith said, "When it comes to the future of our state, I applaud Governor Jindal for putting the dollars where they count. Theres no better way to move our state forward than by growing jobs and commerce - and completing I-49 North will provide the rest of the nation with better access to Louisiana products and provide our own businesses new clients and better infrastructure for moving goods." I-49 North Taskforce Chairman and State Representative Henry Burns said, "The Governor has said since the beginning of his administration that he would invest in I-49 North and its been more than lip service. Weve seen action from the Governor on this important issue, and Im committed to making sure we get this done." I-49 Taskforce Member and State Representative Roy Burrell said, "I thank our Governor for keeping his campaign promise to our local northwest citizens, our legislative delegation and the State, to give funding priority to I-49 North, despite current budget challenges. With great humility, I can tell future generations that I played a key role in its historic construction." Representative Thomas Carmody said, "Additional funding for the I-49 North project is welcome news for all of us here in Northwest Louisiana. The future completion of this project will mean more opportunities for all of Louisiana - and I applaud the Governor for making I-49 a top priority." Plain Dealing Mayor and I-49 Taskforce Member, Dale Barnette said, “This commitment of state funds for I-49 North is going to bring more industry and business to our area and to Louisiana, and we thank Governor Jindal for following through on the pledge he made to invest in I-49 North. We will continue to work with the Governor and the State to make sure I-49 is completed and ready for our people.” Additionally, the Governor announced $10.12 million in capital outlay funding towards the completion of the North Louisiana Forensic Science Center (NLFSC). The NLFSC has been designated as a regional economic development initiative and Governor Jindal emphasized that the project will enable the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory (NLCL) to maintain and improve its high level of service to its 29-parish region in North Louisiana. Sheriff Steve Prator said, “I want to thank Governor Jindal for his investment to this important project. With this commitment of state dollars for a new crime lab, we’re closer to providing our law enforcement officials with even more tools for solving crimes and more importantly, better protection for the people of Northwest Louisiana." Currently, $4.87 million in funding is authorized for this project, and the $10.12 million will bring the total commitment of the state to $15 million towards the completion of the project. The NLFSC will house a morgue for its forensic pathology autopsy services, forensic toxicology, as well as provide space for the current operation of the NLCL.