LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An accident at the base of the Calcasieu River Bridge just before noon Tuesday Oct. 23 left traffic at a standstill for four hours, completely closing the interstate at times.
Several other accidents happened on both I-10 and I-210, causing hours of bumper to bumper traffic.
“Make no mistake, we want to clear a crash as quickly as possible," said Sgt .James Anderson with Louisiana State Police, "Not only for the convenience of the public, but to prevent additional crashes from taking place.”
Jurisdiction changes among three law enforcement agencies for accidents on and at the base of the Calcasieu River Bridge; Lake Charles Police, LSP on the bridge, and Westlake Police.
Several agencies, including Acadian Ambulance, have spoken about their preparation and plans for when lane closures began, but Tuesday, some accidents took hours to clean up. -Anderson says it depends on the crash how long it takes to clean up.
“Well, obviously, we want to clear it as soon as possible," Anderson said. "Sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control that forces us to take longer to clear up a crash. We have vehicles that are immovable at times or multiple vehicles.”
Tammy York with the Department of Transportation and Development says they, along with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and law enforcement, held meetings to discuss various scenarios of incidents on or around the bridge so they could be prepared.
“Once an accident happens, however, DOTD won’t have an active role in getting that car, or whatever the accident involved off that bridge—that will be our local law enforcement," York said.
To learn more about the Calcasieu River Bridge lane closures that will last until November 9th, click here.
After work on the I-10 bridge in complete, work on I-210 will begin. According to York, this will happen later this winter.