DOTD testing new lights on I-10 Bridge - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DOTD testing new lights on I-10 Bridge

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It's been dark for years but there is now a new effort to relight the Calcasieu River I-10 Bridge. DOTD is testing several LED lights on the west side of the bridge.

The 90 day test period will see how well the lights handle the heavy vibrations of the vehicles passing over the bridge.

"This is a good step. We are hopeful that this new system is going to work. The problem has been the vibrations and the antiquated wiring system that we have there," said Mayor Randy Roach.

Mayor Roach said the trial period will also see how well the lights fair during weather events.

"If you are not careful under different weather conditions they can actually create glare, they can create shadows that make it difficult to see," said Roach.

According to Roach DOTD engineers are reporting positive feedback thus far.

"Because of the engineering challenge with the old bridge and wiring system, this is one of the first systems of its kind. The manufacturer has never done this type of lighting on this type of bridge. We are very hopeful this will be a long term solution," said Roach.

If the lights pass the test the City of Lake Charles and Parish will split the cost of having the entire bridge outfitted with the new lights.

Motorists are encouraged by the lights and look forward to a brighter drive at night.

"I would feel more secure with lights driving over it," said Hugo Martinez.

"Maybe we wouldn't have as many wrecks and cause so many traffic jams going to Lake Charles," said Rhonda Ney.

"Any place you go when there is ample lighting you can feel safe and secure driving your vehicle. So to have that here locally would be great," said Melanie Norton.

The test phase is expected to wrap up in early February.  

Copyright 2012 KPLC All rights reserved.

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