Louisiana, like other states, is at a crossroads with regard to the means of financing needed transportation improvements. Traditional funding sources simply are not sufficient to keep pace with needed facilities to handle the capacity of vehicles that utilize the roadway system in the Lafayette region. With mobility now widely recognized as an important factor in the quality of life provided by a region or state to its residents, transportation shortfalls no longer relate solely to traffic headaches, but to the economic well-being of an area.

The state of Louisiana has enacted legislation regarding the creation of toll authorities to plan, design, construct, and operate toll roads. In 1997, a bill was passed permitting the formation of local toll authorities for any parish or adjacent parishes in the state. The state passed a law in 2001 that created the Louisiana Transportation Authority (LTA) which has statewide jurisdiction for toll roads. In 2003, the LMEC was formed with specific authority to implement a loop facility in the Lafayette region.

These acts by the legislature indicate an understanding of the need for highway improvements in Louisiana and the lack of funding available from traditional sources to implement these improvements.

New-start toll roads, like the LRX, are difficult to fully finance by the bonded revenue generated by tolls. This holds true across the country and is evident in Louisiana since there has been little development of toll roads.* The funding shortfall means local governments, including toll authorities, must seek non-traditional ways to pay for toll road projects.
In 2006, the state established the Transportation Mobility Fund (TMF) to provide leverage funding for mega transportation projects across Louisiana. Money from the TMF can be used to bridge the funding gap between local project toll revenues (and other project level revenues such as earmarks or private investments) and the cost of the project. The TMF can aid in the development of new projects and the expansion of existing systems.

The nature of the Transportation Mobility Fund program means projects will be started and completed much more quickly than what can be delivered by traditional methods.

In addition to the Transportation Mobility Fund, more recent legislation gives the LTA authority to enter into Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreements to construct toll transportation projects and receive proposals from private investment firms to construct, maintain and operate toll facilities. These programs will work hand-in-hand to stimulate private investment in Louisiana.

*An exception is the LA 1 south project in Lafourche Parish near Leeville where toll revenues from this project are being supplemented with operation and maintenance funds as well as cash from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) and federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans.