A coalition of transportation professionals in Louisiana are urging congressional delegation members from the state to push for a fully funded new federal transportation bill that they said will keep thousands of jobs in the state from disappearing.

The eight-member group that includes engineers, contractors and suppliers want the delegation to support a Senate version of the highway bill, which would keep funding at existing levels.

The group sent letters to delegation members.

A House version cuts funding by more than 30 percent and would cost Louisiana more than 8,000 jobs, according to the Federal Highway Administration, the coalition said.

Ken Perret, president of the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association, noted that the federal gas tax that funds the transportation bill will expire on Sept. 30.

“This is about our state having a transportation system that meets its citizens’ economic and safety needs,” Perret said in a statement.

“We all felt a professional obligation to take action on behalf of our profession and behalf of Louisiana.”