A.  An authority may, upon obtaining the approval of the department, undertake a state-designated project as a project under this Chapter.

B.  The department may, upon the request of an authority, in connection with any state-designated project, expend out of any funds available for the purpose such monies and make such use of its engineering and other staff as may be necessary and desirable, in the judgment of the department, for traffic surveys, borings, surveys, preparation of plans and specifications, estimates of cost, and other preliminary engineering and other studies.  These expenditures shall be reimbursed to the department from the sale of bonds for the project and shall be considered a part of the project cost.

C.  The department may serve as the agent for an authority for the purpose of constructing and completing improvements and extensions to a state-designated project.  In such event, the authority shall provide the department with complete copies of all documents, agreements, resolutions, contracts, and instruments relating thereto; shall request the department to do such construction work, including the planning, surveying, and actual construction of the completion, extensions, and improvements thereto; and shall transfer to the credit of an account of the department in the state treasury the necessary funds therefor.  The department shall thereupon proceed with such construction and use the funds for such purpose in the same manner as it is now authorized to use the funds otherwise provided by law for its use in the construction of roads and bridges.

D.  Any portion of a project which would extend beyond the geographic boundaries of an authority, or interconnect with or otherwise directly affect the operation of any portion of the state highway system or any state-designated project, shall be subject to department approval.

E.  Any portion of a project which would extend beyond the geographic boundaries of an authority shall have the approval of the metropolitan planning organization which has jurisdiction for reviewing projects for such parishes or municipalities.

F.  Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, specifically including but not limited to the Louisiana Expressway Law (R.S. 48:1251 et seq.), any authority organized pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter shall have full power to carry out all of the powers and duties set forth in this Chapter, without the necessity of obtaining the approval or consent of the state, or any state agency, political subdivision, district, authority, or other public entity except as expressly provided for in this Chapter.

Acts 1997, No. 1017, §1, eff. July 11, 1997.