CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Ken Perret with the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association spoke to the Lake Charles Kiwanis Club about the poor grades for Louisiana roads and a possible solution to the problem.
The I-10 bridge is a heavily traveled roadway, by locals who commute, travelers, and 18-wheelers. The bridge was built in the 1950's and the current construction is only expected to band-aid it for the next 25 years.
"We need to begin planning a little bit more about that," said former civil engineer and Kiwanis member Frank Miller. There's been several proposals passed around the governing bodies in Lake Charles, Calcasieu parish and of course Westlake and we're all trying to decide what's the best approach."
Perret spoke about the severe need for improvement of Louisiana roadways.
"The American Society of Civil Engineers did a report card on our infrastructure in Louisiana and they evaluated specifically roads and bridges and it was not good. We got a D in both categories which you really shouldn't have a d rating on an important thing like roads and bridges."
D was a letter used to describe crumbling infrastructure.
So what's Perret's solution?
He says Louisiana should look to Texas, and how it taxes gasoline.
"Our message is to understand the importance of the highways and why we have the lack of funding," said Perret. "Our gas tax is based on per gallon and it doesn't increase when the price of gasoline goes up, the tax stays the same. So as costs go up for road improvements there's no increase in revenue."
The goal of the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association is to gather information and convey it to city officials and the public to in turn make them aware of the dire need for a change.
"It's an important aspect of any civilization that we have good roads to get from place to place," said Miller.
Perret also mentioned that the I-10 bridge needs to be replaced due to lack of shoulders and narrow lanes, but he says it's an expensive and lengthy project to take on.