La. Supreme Court asked to review I-10 Bridge case - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

La. Supreme Court asked to review I-10 Bridge case

A 1994 chemical spill has blocked the way for a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge for a number of years now. And there's a lawsuit connected with the spill.  

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development say a new I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge would have been built by now -- or at least be well underway, along with construction of a new I-10 Sampson street interchange, but for 1994 ethylene dichloride spill. 

A pipeline failure caused an estimated 1.7 million pounds of EDC to be released. Conoco owned the pipeline while Sasol's predecessor owned the EDC.  

DOTD officials have said when a new bridge is built, they must avoid hitting the underground plume of chemical contamination to avoid spreading it, as DOTD Attorney Patrick McIntire explained earlier this year.

"It's going to cost extra to stay out of the contamination when the bridge is built and that's the damages that the state is requesting that be awarded in the lawsuit," McIntire said.

The DOTD estimates the state's damages from the spill are $235-million, including the increased cost of a bridge with spans long enough to bypass the spill. Judge Clayton Davis continued trial on the lawsuit until a three-year environmental impact study is done. Though Davis continued the October trial date, he did order a status conference to be held within six months to reconsider.

But DOTD hopes the Louisiana Supreme Court will reverse that decision.

"We have to do continued maintenance on the old bridge until the new bridge is built. We recently completed a project that cost about $5.7 million. Further delays are just going to mean more maintenance costs. The engineers for DOTD have provided an assessment of the structure required because of the contamination and the extra costs to build it," McIntire said. "DOTD would like to move forward with the case and get a trial date."

Earlier, Conoco Phillips and Sasol said it's uncertain what kind of bridge should be built -- and that the trial on that part of damages should be delayed until the environmental impact study which they said would help experts decide the best design for the bridge.

We contacted Conoco Phillips and received the following response from a spokesman:  

"Phillips 66 believes the trial court's ruling was well-reasoned and fair," the spokesman said.

For more information about this issue, refer to the 'Clooney Loop Remediation and the I-10 Bridge' link at www.lakecharlesrefinery.com.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • LIVE UPDATES: Barconey's nephew says he saw his uncle kill Nathaniel Reynaud

    LIVE UPDATES: Barconey's nephew says he saw his uncle kill Nathaniel Reynaud

    Thursday, March 23 2017 8:06 PM EDT2017-03-24 00:06:38 GMT

    The state’s final witness of Thursday was one of the three armed intruders in the 2014 Allen Street shooting and he is Ali Barconey’s nephew. William Lee Carter is Barconey's 23-year-old nephew.  From the witness stand he admitted it's hard to testify against his uncle. But Carter says he, Barconey and a third man,Trevis Barber, were the three armed men who went into the house on Allen Street September 25, 2014.

    More >>

    The state’s final witness of Thursday was one of the three armed intruders in the 2014 Allen Street shooting and he is Ali Barconey’s nephew.William Lee Carter is Barconey's 23-year-old nephew.  From the witness stand he admitted it's hard to testify against his uncle. But Carter says he, Barconey and a third man,Trevis Barber, were the three armed men who went into the house on Allen Street September 25, 2014.

    More >>
  • Foggy weather causes hazards on the road

    Foggy weather causes hazards on the road

    Thursday, March 23 2017 7:34 PM EDT2017-03-23 23:34:35 GMT

    After this streak of foggy mornings that Southwest Louisiana's been having, Louisiana State Police Troop D wants to remind drivers to take caution on the roads.

    More >>

    After this streak of foggy mornings that Southwest Louisiana's been having, Louisiana State Police Troop D wants to remind drivers to take caution on the roads.

    More >>
  • 36 officers graduate from Regional Training Academy

    36 officers graduate from Regional Training Academy

    Thursday, March 23 2017 7:01 PM EDT2017-03-23 23:01:28 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    A total of 36 officers from 13 agencies in the six-parish area graduated from the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy Thursday. 

    More >>

    A total of 36 officers from 13 agencies in the six-parish area graduated from the Calcasieu Parish Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy Thursday. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly