A coalition of engineers, contractors, surveyors, suppliers and other transportation professionals is urging Louisiana’s congressional delegation to vote to fully fund a new transportation bill that would protect thousands of in-state jobs.

The coalition wants Congress to support a U.S. Senate version of the highway bill, which keeps funding at current levels. A U.S. House of Representatives version cuts funding by more than 30 percent and would cost Louisiana more than 8,000 jobs, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

In a news release, Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association President Ken Perret said it is unusual for the eight organizations to agree on a joint letter to public officials. Members are not overly political, and the groups sometimes have different goals and objectives, he said.

However, the threat of federal transportation funding being cut by such a large amount dictated that the organizations join forces, Perret said.

The proposed “draconian cuts” in the House bill would have “very devastating and very visible” effects on Louisiana residents’ safety and the country’s economic health,” according to the letter from the coalition.

The cuts would cancel road and bridge projects important to residents, according to the coalition letter.

The coalition includes Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association; Louisiana Associated General Contractors; American Council of Engineering Companies of Louisiana; Louisiana Engineering Society; Louisiana Asphalt Pavement Association; Louisiana Section of American Society of Civil Engineers; Concrete & Aggregates Association of Louisiana; and Louisiana Society of Professional Surveyors.