Ask anyone who has ever had to drive on I-10 through the city of Lake Charles about the bridge over the Calcasieu River and you usually be met with a terce reaction and a sour face. That old bridge has seen better days, much better days. In fact, there are many that believe the bridge is not a safe structure and for years politicians have been promising to replace it.

Well, it now looks as if the precursor to replacing the Calcasieu River Bridge will begin next week in Lake Charles in the form of survey crews. Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development has announced that crews will be working along I-10 and I-210 in Lake Charles on August 16th and 17th.

More specifically the survey crews will be traveling along I-10 between the I-210 interchange and the Ryan Street exit. What they will be doing is scanning the roadway and the roadbed with a Mobile Light Detection and Ranging unit. The technology is more commonly known as LiDAR according to DOTD.

The scans will allow engineers to make 3-D models or representations of the roadway and roadbed. This will help engineers develop a better understanding of the condition of the road itself and what improvements or changes might need to be implemented when the construction on the bridge replacement project eventually begins.

The good news is that the LiDAR scanning will not necessitate lane closures on I-10. The crews will operate for the most part during off-peak travel times and sources close to the project say the traffic interruption will be more like a "funeral procession" than a full lane closure.

Surveying will be weather dependent and the schedule and location of when the survey crews will be on the roadway in and around the potential project area will vary from day to day. We just wanted to make you aware so you can plan to choose an alternate route if and when traffic becomes tied up on your normal route through town.

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