Governor Landry Has New Proposal For I-10 Bridge In Lake Charles
It certainly sounds like Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry has seen enough. On Monday Night, many residents were reported being stuck on the two bridges leading in and out of Lake Charles, that being the I-10 and 210 bridges.
Governor Landry claims that if a new bridge had been built in the city, the arctic freeze that struck South Louisiana would not have left hundreds of people stuck on two bridges in Lake Charles.
According to newly elected Governor Jeff Landry, the revised plan for the I-10 bridge across the Calcasieu River will still have tolls, but they will be substantially reduced. Speaking at the Southwest Louisiana Chamber Banquet on Thursday night, Landry stated that the new plan would be 25% less expensive to construct and would give Imperial Calcasieu a 15% equity stake, meaning that the community would receive 15% of any earnings.
He added that tolls have been lowered by 26% overall. According to him, sixty percent of the toll-paying public will come from outside of Louisiana. A heavy pickup truck would have had to pay a $3.82 toll under the previous proposal, which Landry compared to the new one. The new plan calls for charging a huge pickup vehicle 25 cents tolls.
According to Jeff Landry, he would need help from Legislators for the 15% equity.
Our friends over at KPLC-TV have the complete story. CLICK HERE to view it.
The bridge proposal that was proposed by the DOTD in 2023 will include full shoulders, be lower, and have more lanes and lighting. Two proposals were submitted to DOTD in June during negotiations, but CBP was ultimately selected after extensive review. The current Calcasieu River Bridge was constructed in 1952, and there is no question a replacement is needed sooner rather than later.
Why Are We Being Asked To Pay A Toll? There is NOT enough sufficient money in the state's revenue to allow for state funding of the bridge. It has been voted on, and failed, numerous times to try and fit it into the budget. (2015, 2017) Tried to use Gas Tax. The toll was approved in 2020 via a vote.
CURRENTLY, there is not a toll on any portion of I-10 throughout the nation, but it is in the works in multiple spots including Mobils, Alabama, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mobile's will be a state toll bridge.
The DOTD provided a list of the Project Benefits for the I-10 Bridge Proposal back in September:
I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge
- New structure to provide river crossing for next 100 years.
- The new bridge provides less steep approach grades compared to the existing bridge.
- Constructed on offset alignment to minimize impacts to traveling public during construction.
- Widens I-10 to 3 lanes in each direction to improve traffic conditions and meet future demands.
- Ties in with the recently completed interstate widening project (at the I-210 interchange)
PPG Drive Interchange
- Maintains US 90 across to I-10 while accommodating widened interstate.
- Provides access to Sampson Street well in advance of the interchange to eliminate backups on I-10.
Sampson Street Interchange:
- Eliminates two at-grade railroad crossings eliminating traffic delays & providing improved emergency response services to the City of Westlake.
- Minimize traffic backups onto I-10 by utilizing an elevated interchange concept.
- Ties in with the existing 3-lane section at Ryan & Bilbo Street.
- Provides improved on and off-ramp geometry with auxiliary or acceleration lanes to meet current standards.
- Maintains access to the lakefront along Lakeshore Dr.
Here are some of the photos of the original proposed bridge from DOTD.
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