New Update On I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge In Lake Charles
UPDATE (8/23/2023): DOTD Meeting At Capital - Results from I-10 Bridge Improvement Plan at the meeting at the State Capital that included members from Joint Transportation, Highways and, Public Works to address toll tax concerns about the new I-10 Bridge project.
DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda confirmed the toll tax explaining what it would pay for saying, “Calcasieu Bridge Partners will come up with the $1.3 billion and they will finish the project, they’ll build the project, they’ll get their money back through the collection of tolls.”
According to KPLC News, folks are not happy about the $18.73 toll rate on big trucks without a tag. Lake Charles officials expressed concern that the city can't afford to pay for it. about building a bridge that the state can’t afford. During the meeting, attendees expressed the importance of alternatives and transparency throughout the project.
State Rep Phillip Tarver said, “This is the only plan that has ever been considered, we’ve never looked at other possibilities really, its been a one-track P3 determined and not varied from at all, we are being forced into this deadline by a single-minded approach that penalizes the citizens once again."
He proposed a business income tax credit for Louisiana truck drivers. The proposed business tax credit would allow commercial vehicles registered in the state to get an income tax credit. After they exceed $3,000 in toll expenses in Louisiana.
Lake Charles, LA, is getting closer to having a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge. On July 25, Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Eric Kalivoda announced the state had selected Calcasieu Bridge Partners (CBP), a joint venture of Plenary Americas US Holdings, Sacyr Infrastructure USA and Acciona Concesionesfor for the $2.1 billion project.
The new bridge 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 soon than later.
Now the City of Lake Charles is one step closer to realizing this. In the coming days, CBP will host a public meeting for input on the bridge's aesthetics. In the meantime, here are Concept images of what the bridge may look like have been published on DOTD.com.
According to DOTD, CBP will manage and oversee the new bridge's construction, maintenance, and operations. As far as a bridge toll, a public meeting providing detailed info on the project layout and the toll rates is supposed to take place this month. The reason for a toll would be for CBP to recoup its investment.
For now, DOTD has secured US$800 million in funding that will help minimize the tolls. Toll rates will vary based on toll tags, which will be free to the public and vehicle type. Only vehicles crossing the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge will be subject to the toll. Here is an estimated breakdown of
This is once again an estimate of possible toll rates. Toll rates are set at a 2023 fixed dollar amount and will be adjusted by the consumer tax index over time. A final review and approval will be at a hearing with the legislative joint transportation committee.
The I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge project involves a 5.4-mile corridor of service roads and onramps. This includes a stretch at North Lakeshore/Ryan Street that will connect to the I-210 and I-10 interchange at PPG Drive, Sampson Street. Sampson Street will reportedly be elevated over the railroad tracks to eliminate traffic caused by trains.
According to DOTD, construction on the new bridge could start in 2024 and could take approximately seven years to complete. As part of their proposal, CBP plans to minimize the impact on traffic during construction by shifting the alignment of Sampson Street. This, in turn, will reduce the anticipated closure of Sampson from 18 months to nine months or less.